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THE STORY OF GREECE. By Prof. Jas. A. Harrisom 

THB STORY OF ROME. By Arthur Gilman . 

THE STORY OK THE JEWS. By Prof. Jas. K. Hosmer 



THE STORY OK NORWAY. By Prof. H. H. Boyesen 

THE STORY OF SPAIN. By E. E. and Susan Hale 

THE STORY OF HUNGARY. By Prof. A. Vambery 

THE STORY OF CARTHAGE. By Prof. Alfred J. Church 




THE STORY OF PERSIA. By S. G. W. Benjamin 




THE STORY OF IRELAND. By Hon. Emily Lawless 


THE STORY OK TURKEY. By Stanley Lane-Poolb 


THE STORY OF HOLLAND. By James E. Thorold Rogers 

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The story of the conquests of Alexander has been 
told many times, and his name is familiar in our 
mouths as household words ; but the history of the 
different portions of the great Empire that he founded, 
how they rapidly gained and lost their independence, 
and finally were absorbed into the dominions of 
Rome, is by no means equally well known. 

It was not to be expected that such a conqueror 
as the great Macedonian should leave behind him 
any single successor equal to the task of holding his 
vast Empire together, and it is therefore no matter 
of surprise that it was speedily broken up ; but there 
is, nevertheless, a deep interest in tracing the progress 
of disintegration, in the course of which one ruler 
after another was obliged to resign his power, and 
the inner life of the world was completely trans- 

The succession of violent deaths that mark the 
story, indicate clearly the condition of society at the 


period ; but, as we thread our way through the laby- 
rinth of bloody wars and assassinations, we find 
our attention happily distracted by studying the 
influence, which is perceptible in them all, of the 
ideas that Alexander impressed upon the peoples 
that he conquered. It is one of the purposes of this 
volume to present this complex truth distinctly to 
the reader, and to show also how considerably Rome 
was influenced by the ideas of conquered Greece, as 
well as to indicate the manner in which Hellenistic 
influences modified the characteristics of the dominant 


a^ Alexander's Place in History .... 
/ The influence of a single genius, I — The rise of Alexander a 

turning-point in Greek history, 2 — The scope of this book, 3. 


J Youth and Accession of Alexander . . .4-11 

Philip of Macedon, 4— The character of Olympias, Alex- 
ander's mother, 7 — Philip assassinated, 7 — Alexander's com- 
panions, 8, 9 — His early training, 9 — Experiences gained 
while serving in the heavy cavalry, 9 — His conquest of 
Greece, 10, 11. 


^ The Struggle for the Supremacy of the World 

(b.c. 334-33°) I2 -3° 

Alexander's army, 12 — The start for the East, 13 — The battle 
of Granicus, 15 — Plan of the campaign, 16-19 — The victory 
of Issus, 20-23 — The battle of Arbela, 24 — Alexander in 
Persia, 24-27 — Darius Codomannus, 28. 


The Macedonian Empire and its Limits up to 

Alexander's Death (b.c. 323) . . . 31-42 
The Persian Empire, 31, 32 — The conquest of its three divi- 



sions, 32, 33 — Alexander's march, 34 — Wild schemes of 
mastering the whole world, 35 — Passage of the Hindukush, 
36 — The whole of the Punjab in Alexander's hands, 36 — His 
troops refuse to go further, 36 — His return, 37 — Hellenistic 
influences on India, 37 — At Babylon Alexander reorganizes 
his army, and also his vast dominions, 38, 39 — Punishment of 
offending governors, 39 — The king in his camp, 40, 41 — 
His death, 41 — The confusion that followed, 42. 

The Problem of the Succession (b.c. 323-313) . 43-54 

The claimants to the throne, 43 — Philip Arridaeus made 
titular king, 44 — Division of the empire, 45 — The successors 
in the provinces, 45, 46 — The wars of the Succession, 47 — 
The attack on Egypt, 47, 48 — The Lamian War, 48 — The 
fate of Demosthenes, 49 — The Diadochi, 49 — The careers of 
Eumenes, Seleucus, and Casander, 50-52 — The fate of Alex- 
ander's child, 53 — Cleopatra, 54. 


The Later Wars of the Diadochi down to the 
Battle of Ipsus (b.c. 313-301).— The Career 
of Demetrius 55-68 

The general epoch of Hellenism, 55 — Monarchy becomes the 
form of government, 55, 56 — The reasons why, 56— The prin- 
ciple of Federation developing, 57 — The five masters of the 
spoil, 58 — Demetrius's attack on Rhodes, 59-61 — The Rhodian 
Republic and Federation, 62 — Antigonus' attempts for universal 
mastery, 65 — The fortunes of Seleucus, Lysimachus, and 
Ptolemy, 65-67 — The fate of Demetrius, 67, 68. 


From the Battle of Ipsus to the Invasion of 

the Celts (b.c. 301-278) 69-75 

A new epoch for the Diadochi, 69— Their family relations, 70 
— Ptolemy's children, 71— The family quarrel, 72— The death 



of Seleucus, 73 — Keraunos' career, 73 — The state of Alexan 
der's Empire in 280 B.C., 74, 75. 


The Invasion of the Celts (Galatians) and its 

Consequences 76-84 

Another epoch, 76 — The Galatse, 79 — The effects of their inva- 
sion, 80 — The monument of Ancyra, 83 — The welding together 
of the feelings and interests of the Hellenistic world, 84. 


King Pyrrhus of Epirus 85-88 

Pyrrhus, the Epirot king, 85 — His marriages, 85, 86 — His 
early career, 86 — His ineffectual efforts to check the advance 
of Rome, 86 — Pyrrhus' struggles in Greece and Macedonia, 87 
— His death, 87 — The question of supremacy between the 
East and the West, 88. 


The Golden Age of Hellenism .... 89-95 

The three great kingdoms : (1) Macedonia, 89— (2) Egypt, 
89— (3) Syria, 90 — The lesser powers, 90-92 — Homonymous 
towns, 92, 93— Who were the people who inhabited these 
towns ? 93, 94— Hellenistic city life, 95. 


The New Lines adopted by Philosophy under 

the Diadochi 96-110 

A succession of philosophers, 96 — Plato, 96 — Aristotle, 97 
— The philosophers out of tune with the politics of the day, 98 
— The monarchy of Alexander, 99 — The effects of the Forty- 
five Years' War, 99, 100 — Three new systems of philosophy, 
102 — Epicurus, 103— His teaching, 104 — The Stoics, 105 — 
The differences of the two schools, 105, 106 — Quietists, 106 — 
The old schools at Athens, 107 — The opening of the golden 
age, 108 — The New Comedy, 109, no. 



The Stages of Hellenism in the Third Century 

b.c " . . . . iu-114 

A curious coincidence, III — A chronological table, 1 12 — 
The Syrian wars, 113. 


The Three Young Kings. — A Sketch of Anti- 

Antigonus Gonatas, 1 15 — His first great victory, 1 16 — Pyrrhus, 
116 — Career of Aniigonus, 1 17 — His difficulties with Greece, 
118 — His last years, 119 — Ptolemy Philadelphus, 102 — Alex- 
andria, 120, 121 — Its chief features, 121 — The great mart of 
Europe and Asia, 121 — Ather.aeus' account of the feast that 
inaugurated Philadelphus' reign, 122 — The policy of Ptolemy 
Phil., 133 — His amours and his griefs, 134— His death, 135 — 
Antiochus Soter, 135 — Antioch, 136 — The Septuagint, 137 — 
Theos succeeds to the throne, 137 — The events of his reign, 
138 — Bactrian Hellenism, 139 — Acoka adopts the Buddhist 
creed, 140 — Buddhist missionaries in the Hellenistic world, 
140 — Diffusion of Greek, 141. 


Science and Letters at Alexandria in the 

Days of PhiladelFhus .... 142-155 
Little in Science and Literature left to us, 142 — The Uni- 
versity, 142 — The Museum and the Library, 143— The 
Librarians, 144 — Erudition at Alexandria, 145 — Three original 
developments in literature, 146 — The pastoral idyll, 146 — 
Specimens of Theocritus' work, 147-150 — The other poets, 
i5i^Love in Alexandrian literature, 151 — The tragic and 
comic poets, 152 — The Septuagint, 153 — Influence of a 
common language, 154 — Euclid, 155. 

The Third Generation of Hellenism.— The 

Three Great Kingdoms . . . 156-162 

Chronological table of the third generation of Hellenism, 156 



— Ptolemy Euergetes, 157 — His campaigns, 157, 158 — His 
character and achievements, 159, 160 — The strides of science, 
161 — Demetrius' struggles, 161, 162. 


The Rise of the Achaean League under Aratus. 

— His Policy 163-169 

Plutarch's " Lives," 163 — Early history and youth of Aratus, 
164 — His training, 164 — His great ambition, 167 — A success- 
ful adventure at Sicyon, 167, 168 — Aratus and the Achrean 
League, 168 — Aratus' policies and career, 168, 170. 


King Agis of Sparta.— The Political Theorists 

of the Day 170-175 

The opinions respecting monarchy, 170, 171- — Monarchy in 
Sparta, 17.1 — Sparta in Plutarch's day, 171 — Socialism, 172 — 
Agis's proposals, 172 — The young king's fate, 173 — The 
relations of Aratus and Antigonus to Agis, 173-175. 


The Rise and Spread of Federations in the 
Hellenistic World.— The Achaean a\d 
other Leagues.— Union becomes Popular 176-183 

The "city-states " of Greece, 176— Autonomy deep set in the 
Greek mind, 176— Federation, 177— Guarding against pirates, 
178— Constitution of the Achaean League, 179— The prepon- 
derance of the wealthy, 180— Aratus's policy, 180, 181— The 
^Etolian League, 181— Its worst point, 182— Mr. Freeman on 
the Constitution of the Leagues, 182, 183— Other Leagues, 



The Events of Kino Demetrius II.'s Reign. — 
The First Interference of the Romans 
in the Empire of Alexander . . . 184-186 

Demetrius II., 184 — His career, 184, 185 — Roman interfer- 
ence, 185 — The cloud in the west, 186. 


Commerce and Culture at Pergamum and 

Rhodes 187-198 

The movements of Ptolemy Euergetes and Antiochus Hierax, 
187— Attalus I., 188— The Dying Gladiator, 188— The Per- 
gamene dynasty, 189 — Rhodes, 190 — The character of its 
people, 193 — The culture of the Rhodians, 193 — The Rhodian 
navy, 194 — Presents to Rhodes after an earthquake in 227 
B.C., 194-198 — The Rhodian system, 198. 


The Rise of Antigonus Doson and Cleomenes 

(b.c. 229-223) 199-206 

The rise of two leaders, 199 — Antigonus Doson, 200 — His 
movements, 200, 201 — Cleomenes, 202 — His rival Aratus, 
203 — The fears of the League, 204 — Cleomenes' coup (Pelat, 
204, 205 — His policy, 205 — Cleomenes as king, 206. 

The Cleomenic War (b.c. 224-221) to the Battle 

of Sellasia.— The Policy of Aratus . 207-217 

The position of Aratus, 207 — He proposes an embassy to 
Antigonus, 208 — Cleomenes wants hegemony, 208 — His quar- 
rel with the League, 209 — The war that ensued, 209 — The 
conduct of Aratus, 210 — Antigonus master of the situation, 
211 — His subsequent policy, 212 — Early wars of Antiochus 
III., 213 — Cleomenes forsaken by Ptolemy, 214 — The battle 
of Sellasia, 215 — Cleomenes' last days in Egypt, 215, 216 — 
The end of Antigonus Doson, 216, 217. 



The Condition of the Hellenistic World in 

221 b.c 218-224 

Roman invasion postponed a generation, 218 — Hellenism in 
the Far East, 219, 220 — Bonds of the civilized world, 220, 
221 — Hellenistic literature, 221, 223 — Developments of posi- 
tive science, 224. 

The Last Independent Sovereigns of the 
Empire. — The Fate of Antiochus III. 
and Ptolemy IV. (Philopator) . . . 225-233 

Chronological table, 225, 226 — Antiochus "the Great," 226 — 
The insurgent Molon, 227 — Achaeus' revolt, 227 — Various 
operations, 228 — The battle of Raphia, 229 — The treacherous 
surrender of Achaeus at Sardis, 229, 230 — His fate, 230 — 
Antiochus' Eastern campaign, 230, 231 — Returns to Antioch, 
and entitled "the Great," 231 — The career of Ptolemy at Alex- 
andria, 232 — His death, 233. 


The Condition of Pergamum and Rhodes . 234-236 

Condition of Byzantium, 234, 235 — The Galatians in Thrace, 
235 — Great outcry in the trading world, 235 — The Rhodians 
instigate a war, 236 — The point gained, 236 — Attalus, 236. 

The Reign of Philip V. of Macedon, up to his 
interference in Eastern Affairs.— His 
Wars in Greece . . . . . . 237-243 

Philip V. peacefully succeeds to the throne, 237 — Troubles 
from the vEtolians, 237 — The struggle, 238 — The coming 
storm, 238 — Demetrius of Pharos, 239 — Philip's treaty with 
Hannibal, 240 — Philip's cruelty and injustice, 240 — Romans 
incite war with Philip, 241 — With Philopormen he successfully 
resists a coalition, 241 — Romans displeased at the making of 
peace, and their attitude towards Philip, 242 — A turning-point 
in the history of Alexander's Empire, 242, 243. 





State of the Hellenistic World from 204 to 
197 B.c— The First Assertion of Rome's 
Supremacy 244-258 

Philip's policy of annoyance and insult, 244 — His treaty with 
Antiochus III., 247 — His aggressions and cruelties, 247, 248 — 
The accession of Ptolemy Epiphanes, 248 — The Regents 
Tlepolemus and Sosibius, 251— The attack on Egypt, 252 — 
Rome's assistance is accepted, 252— Antiochus' proposal, 252 
— The people of Abydos, 253— Rome's second war with Philip, 
254 — The battle of Cynoscephalse, 255, 256 — The attitude of 
the Roman general towards Philip, 256, 257 — The first blow 
struck from the West at the Empire of Alexandria, 257 — 
Macedonian humiliation, 257, 258. 


The Hellenistic World from b.c. 197-190— The 
Second Assertion of Rome's Supremacy.— 
Magnesia 259-266 

Flamininus in Greece, 259, 260 — Philip and Antiochus become 
enemies, 261 — Roman struggle with Antiochus in Europe, 262 
— The supremacy of the sea secured by the Romans, 263 — 
Their success at Magnesia, 264 — The death of Antiochus, 265 
— The Galatians subjugated, 265 — The Romans become plun- 
derers, 265, 266. 


The Hellenistic World from the Battle of 
Magnesia to the Accession of Perseus 
(b.c. 190-179) . 267-284 

Return to Egyptian affairs, 267 — The fate of Tlepolemus, 267 
— Epiphanes' coronation, 268 — The Rosetta Stone, 268-271 
— The decree of Memphis, 272 — Pergamum and Rhodes, 275 — 
The powers depend on the beck of Rome, 276 — All the world 
at Rome, 277 — Affairs for ten years after Magnesia, 278 — Last 
years of Philip, 279 — Roman policy shifting, 280 — Rome and 
the Leagues, 281-283 — Death of Philopcemen, 283. 




The Struggle of Perseus with the Romans. — 
The Third Assertion of Rome's Supre- 
macy.— Pydna (b.c. 168) .... 285-295 
Perseus succeeds to the throne, 285 — His waiting policy, 285 — 
The feeling between Greece and Rome, 286 — Analogies to 
modern problems, 287 — Perseus' first demonstration against 
Rome, 288 — His want of decision, 289 — Degeneration of 
Roman character, 289 — L. JE. Paullus brings the war to a 
close, 290 — The Romans' treatment of Macedonia, 291 — ot 
the Epirotes and of Eumenes, 292 — of Rhodes, 293 — of their 
allies, 294 — The history of Polybius, 295. 


The Last Syrian War, and Fourth Assertion of 
Roman Supremacy. — The Circle of Po- 
pilius Ljenas (b.c. 168) .... 296-299 

Antiochus IV., king of Syria, 296 — His attack upon Egypt, 
297 — Popilius Lsenas' famous circle in the sand, 298 — Roman 
interference, 298 — The Empire of Alexander, completely 
broken, sinks into dependence upon Rome, 299. 

The Influence of Hellenism on Rome . . 300-310 

Early Roman intercourse with Greece, 300 — Influence of the 
Greeks upon Roman literature, 301 — The desire to attain 
Hellenistic culture, 302 — -The influence of the Greek play upon 
Roman morality, 303 — The baseness of Roman diplomacy, 
304 — Roman Hellenism, 305 — Some curious details from Poly- 
bius, 306 — Greek art at Rome, 307 — The reaction upon the 
East, 307, 308 — A great gain to the civilized world being 
secured, 309 — Roman architecture, 309, 310. 

List of Names easily Confounded . . . .311 

Index . . . 3'5 
































































124, 125 




MOST of the great changes in the world's history 
come about gradually, and wise men can see them 
coming, for it is very hard to run counter to the 
nature of average men, and all great advances and 
degradations of society are the result of persistent 
causes ; but a few times, since our records have been 
kept, there has arisen a single genius, who has done 
what no number of lesser men could accomplish, who 
has upset theories as well as dominions, preached a 
new faith, discovered some new application of Force, 
which has given a fresh start to the world in its 
weary and perplexed struggle for a higher life. These 
few great men have so changed the current of affairs, 
that we may safely say they have modified the future of 
the whole human race. At any rate they have taught 
us what might and dignity is attainable by man, and 
have so given us ideals by which the commonest of 
us can estimate his worth and exalt his aspirations. 



So, too, there have been gigantic criminals and im- 
perial fools who have wrecked the peace of the world, 
and caused the " ape and tiger " elements, which were 
repressed by long and anxious struggles, to break out 
afresh in their savagery. 

We desire in this book to tell the story of one of 
the greatest men that ever lived — to tell very briefly 
of his personal achievements, and to show how long 
his work, and how far his influence, extended. Most 
Greek histories stop with the fall of republican liberty 
under the conquests of Philip of Macedon, the father 
of our hero ; nor is this a bad place to stop in the 
history of Greece, for with Alexander the stage of 
Greek influence spreads across the world, and Greece 
is only a small item in the heritage of the Greeks. 
All the world, too, made up their minds that the rise 
of Alexander was a great turning point, when an 
older volume of history was finished, and a new one 
begun. Nobody ever thought of going back beyond 
Alexander and his conquests to make a historic 
claim, or to demand the restoration of ancient sov- 
ranties. His conquests were regarded as perfectly 
lawful, the world as his natural heritage, his will as a 
lawful testament. So, then, we may begin with him 
without much retrospect, and see what he founded, 
and what he did for the advance of the world. 

The fragments of his Empire were great Empires 
in themselves, and were the main channels of culture 
and civilization until the Roman Empire swallowed 
them up ; and so far we will follow them, though 
even after their absorption they did not cease to 
affect history, and the capitals of the Alexandrian 


Empire were long the foremost cities in the Roman 
world. But this would take a far longer book, and 
more knowledge than any one man possesses, and 
must be set down in other books by other men. 
Even within the limits which are here laid down, 
thousands of details must be omitted, for the history 
of Eastern Europe and its wars in the century after 
Alexander is more complicated than can well be 
imagined and described. We must try to sever the 
wheat of important events from the chaff of raids and 
campaigns, and leave some distinct memories in the 
reader's mind. 




NOTHING is so obscure as the law — if there be a 
law — by which genius is produced. Most of the men 
who have moved the world in science and letters 
have sprung from obscure parents, have had obscure 
brothers and sisters, and have produced obscure 
children. It was not so with Alexander. His 
children were not indeed allowed to come to ma- 
turity, but we have no evidence to show that they 
resembled or approached him in genius. His parents, 
on the other hand, were people of great mark. 

His father, Philip of Macedon, was the ablest 
monarch of his day, and had by war and policy raised 
a small and distracted kingdom into the leading 
power in Eastern Europe, in fact, into the imperial 
chiefdom of the Greeks, though his people were only 
on the boundaries of Hellenedom. His long diplo- 
matic and military struggles against the Greeks are 
fully recounted in all the histories of the life and 
time of Demosthenes, and we need not repeat them 
here. His successful efforts to educate his nobility 
have been compared to those of Peter the Great to 
civilize the Russian grandees of his day. There is no 
man in our century to compare with him but Victor 




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This monument (of Lysikrates) is one of the earliest in tne Corinthian order, and 
was erected in Athens at the very time of Alexander's invasion of Asia (335 B.C.). It 
marks the taste of the epoch. 


Emanuel, who started as King of Sardinia, and ended 
as King of United Italy, utilizing politicians like 
Cavour, incendiaries like Mazzini, and enthusiasts like 
Garibaldi, for his steady and long-determined policy. 
In his private life, too, Philip was not unlike the 
galant and gallant king. 

He had "married in early life a handsome Epirot 
princess, whose family then represented a kingdom 
not inferior to his own. This princess, Olympias, is 
not known to us during Philip's young and happy 
days, when she was watching the growth of her only 
child, a boy of splendid beauty and from the first of 
extraordinary promise. But as he grew up, educated 
in all that a king should know, not only of sport and 
pastime, of war, but also of science and letters under 
no less a teacher than Aristotle, her jealousy for his 
rights was intensified by jealousy for her own. The 
king's advancing years and enlarged responsibilities 
had not stayed his vagaries ; the house of Macedon 
had always been by custom polygamous ; successions 
to the throne were generally introduced by domestic 
tragedies, fratricides, exiles ; and Philip's reign, from 
its beginning to its close, made no exception. Hence, 
at the birth of a new son, by another princess, and 
the declared claims of the infant's relations on the 
ground of old quarrels and suspicions concerning 
Olympias, the estrangement between Philip and his 
eldest son became almost complete ; Olympias and 
Alexander even retired from court to the queen's 
ancestral dominions ; the young prince had a narrow 
escape of his life, and so bitter was the feeling that, 
when Philip was suddenly assassinated (B.C. 336), owing 


to a private revenge in some far obscurer affair, 
Olympias and Alexander were openly charged with 
having suborned the murderer. 

All that we know of Alexander, especially in his 
youth, belies such a suspicion. His famous utterance 
when they proposed to him a night attack on Darius 
r at Arbela — ov /e\s7rr&> ttjv viicr}v, I steal no victory — 
was the motto of his lifer Olympias, a woman of 
furious temper, unbridled ambition, and absolute de- 
votion to her son, is perhaps more justly suspected, 
but as her crime would be far less heinous, so her 
innocence or guilt is of little moment in history ; but 
that the greatest career in the world should have 
started with a parricide, would be indeed a horrible 

The other claimants however did not stand against 
him for an instant ; he abolished them without cere- 
mony or mercy, and assumed the purple at the age of 
twenty, to control a kingdom made up of loyal and 
warlike Macedonians, disloyal and treacherous Greeks, 
rebellious and turbulent Illyrians and Paeonians — in 
fact, of nothing but disorder and fermentation, if we 
except the companions of his youth and the soldiery 
who knew and loved him. He had, moreover, a very 
well-trained army under experienced generals, three 
of whom, Antipater, Parmenio, and Antigonus must 
have been steady and able counsellors. It was the 
old habit of the kings to have the sons of nobles 
brought up as peers with the royal princes — a habit 
which Philip had largely extended, and these were 
first pages at court, then companions of the boy, then 
household officers about him. At the retired and 


quiet Mieza (the situation of which cannot now be 
determined), where the royal prince was trained by 
Aristotle, he became the intimate o£ Ptolemy, Se- 
leucus, Lysimachus, and the other famous generals 
who afterwards formed his brilliant staff. Some of 
these had even incurred his father's displeasure in 
the late quarrel, and had left the court with him in, 

They had not only been the companions of his 
studies, but of his field sports, for which the glens 
and forests of Macedon were famous, and never, down 
to the times of Perseus, who was conquered by the 
Romans two hundred years later, did the royal house 
neglect its preserves of game, where the young, nobles 
learned the qualities of war by the hardy sports of 
old days, when the spear and tlje knife required far 
braver men than our modern rifles, to meet the bear 
and the wolf. So convinced was Alexander of the 
value of these sports, that he always despised formal 
athletic training and competitions at public festivals, 
and held that the pursuit of dangerous games by 
astuteness and endurance produced a quite different 
race from the practising of special muscles for a com- 
petition in the arena. It is the contrast between the 
Turnen of the German, and the field sports of the 
English youth, in its ancient form. 

Alexander and his companions had, however, not 
been without the experience of these things in actual 
war ; in Philip's campaign, of ten months in Bceotia 
and Phocis, which had been doubtful enough till the 
final day at Chaeronea, the prince had served in the 
heavy cavalry, and at that battle he had successfully 


led the charge which helped to decide the day. There 
he had learned what his father seems never to have 
realized, that in the heavy cavalry of Macedon they 
had a military arm which might turn the fortunes of 
the world. The Greeks had so few horses, and the 
country was so unfavourable for working them, that 
in the older Greek battles they were of little impor- 
tance. If the irregular horse of Thessaly, or the 
Persian squadrons, occasionally encountered Greek 
infantry, it could easily avoid them by keeping in 
rocky or mountainous positions, and in neither case 
was there hostile infantry which could take advantage 
of this manoeuvre. Now in addition to Philip's phalanx, 
which could crush any ordinary open array, and the field 
artillery which was Alexander's first development out 
of the siege trains of his father, there was a discip- 
lined force well drilled and in hand, with which, as we 
shall find, he won almost all his battles. 

All these things would have made no mark in 
history but for the man that wielded them, and when 
we read the wonderful accounts in Plutarch, and other 
late biographers, of his boyish achievements, we should 
readily accept them, but for the fact that his contem- 
poraries seem to have had no notion of the wonder 
with which they had to deal. Demosthenes and his 
friends thought him only an ordinary boy ; the The- 
bans were of the same mind, for after he had received 
their submission, and gone away to fight the northern 
barbarians, they revolted ; but in a few. days' fighting, 
in which he first showed his talent for tactics, Alex- 
ander penetrated across the Danube, and across the 
great mountains which separated Macedonia from 


Illyria ; he forced passes, and crossed rivers ; he fought 
with artillery which threw stones and darts three hun- 
dred yards, and he suddenly reappeared in Greece, 
when they thought he was either killed or defeated 
among the barbarians. With swift and terrible ven- 
geance he fell on Thebes and destroyed it ; to Athens 
and the rest of Greece, now terrified into abject 
embassies, he granted generous terms ; to the Spar- 
tans, who stood aloof in sullen refusal, he gave no 
thought but contempt, for he had no time to subdue 
them. He was not a year on the throne when he 
stood forth a greater and more powerful sovereign 
than his father, with his empire united in the bonds 
of fear and admiration, and ready to carry out the 
long premeditated attack of the Greeks on the domi- 
nions of the Great kins:. 


WORLD (B.C. 334-330). 

No modern general could possibly have started on 
a campaign with the means at Alexander's disposal. 
He had indeed a splendid army of all branches, heavy 
infantry, light infantry, slingers and archers, artillery 
such as the ancients could produce without gunpowder, 
and cavalry, both Thessalian and Macedonian, fit for 
both skirmishing and the shock of battle. If its 
numbers were not above 40,000, this moderate force 
was surely as much as any commander could handle 
in a rapid campaign with long marches through a 
hostile country. Ancient authors, who were mostly 
pedants knowing nothing of war, speak as if two or 
three hundred thousand men could be marched across a 
continent without trouble. Xerxes was even supposed 
to have led some millions into Greece. But all this 
is absurd, and we know very well that as the com- 
missariat and appointments of more than 40,000 men, 
marching great distances through strange country, 
would tax the ablest modern Quartermaster-General, 
with railroads to help him, so any larger army would 
have been simply useless to Alexander. He had al- 
ready secured his passage into Asia by means of the 



C, The approach of the Macedonian army changing into battle order /, viz. : 
T, Thessalian cavalry ; B, Allied (Greek) cavalry ; r, Thracian cavalry ; 1-8, 
Divisions of the phalanx or heavy infantry ; «, o, Light infantry ; H, The Hypas- 
pists or foot guards ; F, The division of cavalry and light infantry sent forward" 
to attack the Persian left flank ; ifj, The Agriani and other archers and light troops ; 
A, Alexander's heavy cavalry, which decided the battle. //, Represents the actual 
attack on K, The Persian cavalry. ///, The subsequent attack on the Greek mer- 
cenary infantry G, which had been Kept in the background by the Persians. 

The plans are borrowed from Riistow and Kochly's book on Greek tactics. 


troops which Philip had sent to the Hellespont and 
the Troad just before his death ; but he had no large 
fleet, and the warships of Phoenicia would have effec- 
tually stopped him, had he delayed. This was another 
reason for collecting no huge army, and it was very 
well known that a small number of disciplined 
troops, such as the Greek troops of Xenophori or 
Agesilaus, were as well able to meet myriads of bar- 
barians, as the victors of Plassy or Assaye to win 
their victories under very like circumstances. 

After a Homeric landing on the coast near Ilium, 
and sacrifices to the Ilian goddess at her ancient 
shrine, with feasts and games, the king started East to 
meet the Persian satraps, who had collected their 
cavalry and Greek mercenary infantry on the plain of 
Zeleia, behind the river Granicus (B.C. 334). Here he 
fought his first great battle, and showed the nature of 
his tactics. He used his heavy infantry, divided into 
two columns or phalanxes as his left wing, flanked 
by Thessalian cavalry, to threaten the right of the 
enemy, and keep him engaged while he delivered his 
main attack. Developing this movement by a rapid 
advance in echelonned squadrons thrown forward to 
the right, threatening to outflank the enemy, he in- 
duced them to spread their forces towards their left 
wing, and so weaken their left centre. No sooner 
had he succeeded in this than he threw his heavy 
cavalry on this weak point, and after a very severe 
struggle in crossing the river, and climbing its rugged 
banks, he completely broke the enemy's line. The 
Persian nobles did all they could to retrieve their 
mistake ; they threw themselves into the gap, and 


fought heroically with Alexander and his companions ; 
it seemed a mere accident that they did not succeed in 
killing him, and so altering the world's history. Here 
was indeed a distinct fault in his tactics ; he constantly 
and recklessly exposed his own life, and so risked the 
whole campaign on the chance of his own escape. 
For though he was an excellent soldier, active, strong, 
and highly trained, delighting in the excitement of a 
hand-to-hand struggle, and so affording a fine example 
to his officers, it is agreed that the guiding spirit 
should not involve itself more than is necessary in the 
heat and turmoil, as well as the great risk, of personal 

We cannot undertake to give the details of Alexan- 
der's campaigns, which would in themselves fill this 
volume, and for ordinary readers they are not worth 
remembering. We shall merely follow out the leading 

He did not strike straight into Asia, for this would 
have left it possible for Mentor and Memnon, the able 
Rhodians who commanded on the coast for Darius, 
either to have raised all Asia Minor against him, or to 
have transferred the war back to Macedon. Indeed, 
this was the policy which they urged on the Persian 
nobles, but it was put aside as the plan of shabby 
Greeks, and not of chivalrous Aryan barons ; for the 
Persians were far more like the mediaeval knights and 
barons than any Greeks, even the noblest, and looked 
upon them merely as so many useful mercenaries, to 
fight infantry battles, while the aristocratic service 
was the cavalry. In this respect the Persians were 
far nearer the Macedonians in sentiment, and we may 


PLAN OF BATTLE OF issus (preliminary movements). Cf. p. 2a. 

Cf. the letters of the last map. _fl, is the flanking force, protecting Alexander's 
right ; R, is the Persian force, with a detachment thrown forward across the river; 
T, a detachment brought across to strengthen Alexander's left, when his ight 
seemed secure. 


be sure they so far enlisted Alexander's sympathy. 
However the policy of Memnon was cautious and wise, 
and we see that the king knew it, for he left pursuing 
the beaten force, and turned south to subdue the 
coasts of the Persian empire. This would prevent their 
superior fleet not only from landing on his rear, but 
from acting on Greece and Macedon, for ancient fleets 
required not only land supplies, but harbours to stay 
in ; they could not lie out at sea like our men of war, 
and for this purpose even the islands of the Levant 
were insufficient. So then he seized Sardis, the key 
of all the highroads eastwards ; he laid siege to Hali- 
carnassus, which made a very long and stubborn 
resistance, and did not advance till he had his rear 
safe from attack. 

Even with all these precautions, the Persian fleet, 
under Memnon, was producing serious difficulties, and 
had not that able general died at the critical moment 
(B.C. 333), the Spartan revolt, which was put down the 
following year in Greece, would have assumed serious 
proportions. Alexander now saw that he could press 
on, and strike at the headquarters of the enemies' 
power — Phoenicia and the Great king himself. He 
crossed the difficult range of the Taurus, the southern 
bulwark of the Persian Empire, and occupied Cilicia. 
Even the sea was supposed to have retreated to allow 
his army to pass along a narrow strand under pre- 
cipitous cliffs. The Great king was awaiting him 
with a vast army — grossly exaggerated, moreover, in 
our Greek accounts — in the plain of Syria, near Da- 
mascus. Foolish advisers persuaded him, owing to 
some delay in Alexander's advance, to leave his 


favourable position, where the advantage of his hosts 
of cavalry was clear. He therefore actually crossed 
Alexander, who had passed on the sea side of Mount 
Amanus, southward, and occupied Issus on his rear. 
The Macedonian army was thus cut off from home, 
and a victory necessary to its very existence. The 
great battle of Issus was fought on such narrow 
ground, between the sea and the mountains, that 
neither side had room for outflanking its opponent, 
except by occupying the high ground on the inland 
side of the plain (B.C. 333). This was done by the 
Persians, and the banks of a little river (the Pinarus) 
crossing their front were fortified as at the Granicus. 
Alexander was obliged to advance with a large re- 
serve to protect his right flank. As usual he at- 
tacked with his right centre, and as soon as he had 
shaken the troops opposed to him, wheeled to the 
left, and made straight for the king himself, who 
occupied the centre in his chariot. Had Darius with- 
stood him bravely and for some time, the defeat of 
the Macedonians' left wing would probably have been 
complete, for the Persian cavalry on the coast, attack- 
ing the Thessalians on Alexander's left wing, were 
decidedly superior, and the Greek infantry was at 
this time a match for the phalanx. But the flight of 
Darius, and the panic which ensued about him, left 
Alexander leisure to turn to the assistance of his 
hard-pressed left wing, and recover the victory. 

It may be mentioned here, as it brings the facts 
together for the reader, that the very same thing took 
place at Arbela, the next and last great battle for the 
supremacy of the world at that crisis. There, too, 


m t§ 



while Alexander's feint at outflanking the enemy's 
left, and his furious charge upon the king in the 
centre, was successful, his left wing was broken, and 
in danger of complete destruction. It was only his 
timely charge on the rear of the attacking force which 
saved Parmenio's phalanx. So true is it that Alex- 
ander never won a battle with his phalanx. He saw at 
once that Persian discipline was not such as could 
bear the defeat or death of the king. Therefore a 
charge in close squadrons of heavy cavalry, if brought 
to bear at the proper moment, and after the enemy's 
line has been weakened or disturbed by manoeuvring, 
was certain to give him the victory. 

At Issus, too, the Persian grandees showed a loy- 
alty equal to any instance in the days of mediaeval 
chivalry, and sacrificed their lives freely in defence of 
their pusillanimous king. In this battle, too, Alex- 
ander committed the fault of risking his person — he 
was actually wounded — by way of contrast to his 

The greatness of this victory completely paralyzed 
all the revolt prepared in his rear by the Persian 
fleet. Alexander was now strong enough to go on 
without any base of operation, and he boldly (in the 
manifesto he addressed to Darius after the battle) 
proclaimed himself King of Persia by right of con- 
quest, who would brook no equal. Nevertheless, he 
delayed many months (which the siege of Tyre cost 
him, B.C. 332), and then, passing through Jerusalem, 
and showing consideration for the Jews, he again 
paused at the siege of Gaza, merely, we may suppose, 
to prove that he was invincible, and to settle once for 


all the question of the world's mastery. He delayed 
again for a short while in Egypt, when he regulated 
the country as a province under his sway, with kind- 
ness towards the inhabitants, and respect for their 
religion, and founded Alexandria ; nay, he even here 
made his first essay in claiming divinity ; and then, at 
last, set out to conquer the Eastern provinces of 
Darius' empire. 

The great decisive battle in the plains of Mesopo- 
tamia (B.C. 331) — it is called either Arbela or Gauga- 
mela * — was spoken of as a trial of strength, and the 
enormous number of the Persian cavalry, acting on 
open ground, gave timid people room to fear ; but 
Alexander had long since found out, what the British 
have found in their many Eastern wars, that even a 
valiant cavalry is helpless, if undisciplined, against 
an army of regulars under a competent commander. 
The Persians, moreover, committed the fatal mistake 
of letting Alexander choose the time and point of his 
attack, when the effect produced by disciplined troops 
is almost irresistible. The rapid evolutions of serried 
columns or squadrons have always had this effect 
upon irregulars. The Macedonian had again, how- 
ever, failed to capture his opponent, for which he 
blamed Parmenio, whose partial defeat and urgent 
messages for help had compelled the king to turn at 
the first moment of pursuit and save his hard-pressed 
left wing. So then, though the issue of the war was 

1 It was on almost the same spot that another of those battles which 
have decided the fate of empire was fought in the year 750 a.d., when 
the black flag of Abbas waved victoriously over the Saracenic parti- 
zans who founded a new dynasty on the ruins of the Amiades. See 
" The Story of the San.cms," chap. xxxv. 


battle of issus (decisive movements). 

.. Explanation of Maps II. and III.— The same letters hold good for the various 
divisions of Alexander's army as in the previous maps. 

Five successive positions in Alexander's advance are given here and in the pre- 
vious map, as he came in narrow columns through the passes of Mount Araanus from 
the south, and attacked Darius, encamped behind the river Pinarus ; Fl, are the 
flanking divisions of both armies on the hills to the right of the Macedonians ; /, in 
these divisions means cavalry ; K, is the Persian king's position. 

The reader will see that the tactics of this battle did not differ materially from 
those of the Granicus. 


not doubtful, there was still a real and legitimate rival 
to the throne, commanding the sympathies of most of 
his subjects. 

For the present, however, Alexander turned his 
attention to occupying the great capitals of the Per- 
sian empire — capitals of older kingdoms, embodied in 
the empire just as the King of Italy has embodied 
Florence, Naples, Rome, and Venice in his dominions. 
These great cities, Babylon in Mesopotamia, Susa 
(Shushan) in Elam, Persepolis in Persia proper, and 
Ecbatana in Media, were all full of ancient wealth and 
splendour, adorned with great palaces, and famed for 
monstrous treasures. The actual amount of gold and 
silver seized in these hoards (not less than ^"30,000,000 
of English money, and perhaps a great deal more), had 
a far larger effect on the world than the discovery of 
gold and silver mines in recent times. Every adven- 
turer in the army became suddenly rich ; all the means 
and materials for luxury which the long civilization of 
the East had discovered and employed, were suddenly 
thrown into the hands of comparatively rude and even 
barbarous soldiers. It was a prey such as the 
Spaniards found in Mexico and Peru, but had a far 
stronger civilization, which must react upon the con- 
querors. And already Alexander showed clear signs 
that he regarded himself as no mere Macedonian or 
Greek king, but as the Emperor of the East, and 
successor in every sense of the unfortunate Darius. 

He made superhuman efforts to overtake Darius 
in his retreat from Ecbatana through the Parthian 
passes to the northern provinces — Balkh and Samar- 
cand. The narrative of this famous pursuit is as 


wonderful as anything in Alexander's campaign. He 
only reached the fleeing Persian as he was dying of 
the wounds dealt him by the traitor Bessus, his satrap 
in Bactria, who had aspired to the crown (B.C. 330). 
Alexander signally executed the regicide, and him- 
self married the daughter of Darius — who had no 
son — thus assuming, as far as possible, the character 
of Darius' legitimate successor. 

Darius Codcmannus is one of those figures made 
tragic by great situations, and by their virtues, which 
are too small for their fortunes. Strange to say, this 
craven king who would never meet his Macedonian 
foe with a stout heart to conquer or to die, when an 
officer under Ochus, the only able and vigorous ruler 
whom the empire had possessed since Darius Hys- 
taspes, had obtained his earliest reputation by accept- 
ing the challenge of a Cadusian Goliath, and slaying 
him hand to hand. Codomannus was handsome 
in person and strict in morals, evidently beloved 
by his people, and likely enough to make a good 
name in history had he not fallen upon so gigantic a 
crisis in human affairs. Like Louis XVI. of France, 1 
his private virtues were of no avail to counteract 
his public incapacity, nor had his good example or 
honourable government time to undo the baleful 
effects of his predecessors' vices. 

1 See "The Story of Germany," by S. Baring-Gould, pp. 319-327, 
for an account of the sad career of Louis XVI. 




% JG*f* 


U ;.C:::r.v> 

V --- 


F. \JU 

,l "" te~-\ 




A, The preliminary actions; B, The battle; X, Alexander's camp. The same 
letters used for Alexander's divisions, f, The scythe chariots, sent to attack his 
advance by the Persians ; a, 6, The Bactrian and Scythian cavalry which attacked 
his advancing right wing ; c, c, Arachosians and Dahae cavalry, forming left wing 
of the Persians ; </, Persian and Indian cavalry, which broke Alexander's centre and 
separated his infantry ; e, Cappadocian cavalry ,which attacked the Macedonian lelt and 
rear ; D, The position of Darius ; F, F, Fi , The successive fronts of the Persian army. 

It is plain from these plans that Alexander was here in imminent danger of defeat : 
on Map B, his successive positions are marked /, //, ///, showing how he had to 
wheel about to succour his defeated wing, when Darius fled. 



(B.C. 323). 

The Persian Empire may be broadly divided into 
three parts, differing widely in their population, their 
produce, and their previous history. If we draw a 
line from the inmost corner of the Mediterranean 
near Issus to the Black Sea near Trebizond, we shut 
off all Asia Minor, a vast country which had many 
nationalities of various character ; Greeks and Orien- 
tals, traders and pirates on the coast, shepherds and 
brigands in the mountains, mercenaries all, but in 
some general, not easily definable, way differing both 
from the Eastern peninsula of Europe, and from the 
great valley of Mesopotamia. This latter, the real 
centre of the Empire, has on one side the sea coast of 
Syria and Palestine, on the other the Alps of Media 
and Persia, in its centre the rich alluvial valley of the 
Euphrates and Tigris — a division endowed with all 
the requirements for sovranty, but in which, despite 
the domination of the Aryan mountaineers of Persia, 
the Semitic element was predominant. Here were 
the most faithful servants of the Great king, and here 
were his capitals. From Babylon and Nineveh had 


issued the commands which swayed Asia for centuries. 
If you draw a line from the mouth of the Persian Gulf 
to the foot of the Caspian, you cross a howling 
wilderness, the bed, perhaps, of a great salt lake like 
the Caspian, which gradually evaporated and left a 
salt steppe where no population can maintain itself, 
which caravans even cross with difficulty. The only 
highway from the West to the East of this tract is 
either by the narrow strip of mountain south of the 
Caspian, known of old as the Caspian passes, or by 
the sea coast of Gedrosia, a journey which cost 
Alexander a large part of his army ; for he went 
into the East, in pursuit of Darius, by the former, 
and returned to Babylon by the latter. On the east 
then of this great Persian desert lay a quite distinct 
compartment of the empire — the upper provinces, of 
which the southern, Drangiana, Areia, Arachosia, and 
Gedrosia, have never taken any leading part in the 
world's history, except as the boundary land, which 
great conquerors have contested. The northern 
region, on the contrary, Bactria and Sogdiana, reach- 
ing to the country of the wild Tartars of the Steppes, 
have always maintained a warlike population, often 
recruited by immigrations from the wilder north, and 
here in Alexander's time were great independent 
barons, who served the great king as their suzerain, 
and lived not only in liberty, but in considerable state. 
The story of the conquest of these three divisions by 
Alexander shows clearly their character. Asia Minor, 
so far as it was Greek, fell away willingly from Darius, 
if we except some coast cities held by the fleet ; but 
two great battles and a triumphal procession through 


the country were enough to determine the question 
of master. When we come to the Semitic centre 
division, there is a curious contrast between the 
stubborn resistance of the coast — the sieges of Tyre 
and of Gaza — and the complete collapse of all further 
resistance after the battle of Arbela. There was, 
indeed, a stout attempt made by the generals of 
Darius to bar the great Persian passes leading from 
Susa to Ecbatana ; but all the nations about Mesopo- 
tamia acquiesced at once in his victory. Egypt even 
hailed him as a deliverer. 

The case was very different when Alexander 
attempted the conquest of the eastern or upper 
provinces. The southern, as I have said, were of 
little account. But Northern Areia, Bactria, and still 
more Sogdiana, revolted again and again ; their chiefs, 
such as Spitamenes, won some victories over Mace- 
donian detachments ; they gave Alexander such 
trouble, and showed so keen a sense of liberty and of 
personal dignity, that he was obliged to have resort to 
the severest measures both of repression and concilia- 
tion. He almost exterminated the population in 
arms (and possibly the history of the world may have 
been affected by this destruction of the great barrier 
against Northern Turan), and he married the daughter 
of one of the proudest of the chiefs of Sogdiana. 
This queen, Roxane, was celebrated for her beauty, 
but we can hardly attribute the marriage to this 
cause. It was rather a political move to make the 
brave, rebellious province feel that it had succeeded 
to a large share in the empire. The new queen, 
of course, drew her personal retinue from her own 



people, and so it became the interest of these nobles 
to make the best of the new situation. 

It is no part of a general sketch like this, to go 
into detail about the marches and counter marches, 
the "alarums and excursions " of these campaigns ; 
we wish here merely to give the reader the kernel of 
the thing, the real outcome to the history of man. 
A study of the map of Alexander's march will show 
at once what marvellous distances he carried his 
army, and what wonderful novelties he opened to the 
astonished Europeans in these before unknown and 
fabulous regions. If any ordinary person now-a-days 
knows very little indeed about the Persian desert, 
about Herat, or Merv, or Candahar, and that only on 
the occasion of some British or Russian expedition, 
what must have been the absolute ignorance when 
there were no maps, no books of travel into these 
regions, no scientific inquiry into the distant parts of 
the world ? Yet these provinces were then far richer 
and more populous than they now are ; possibly the 
climate was more temperate ; at all events, the 
Macedonians and Greeks found there, at least, a 
material civilization much superior to their own — 
that is to say, in gold and silver work, in embroideries, 
in tempered steel, in rich trees and flowers, in all the 
splendours which only a sustained and wealthy 
nobility gather round them. In all these things the 
Macedonian army began to feel its rudeness and 
vulgarity, along with its superiority in arms ; and so 
we have the first step towards that fusion of the 
politics and intellect of Hellenedom with the refined 
manners and graceful luxury of the East. 


No sooner had Alexander conquered all the realms 
ever claimed by the kings of Persia, than he felt 
that his main occupation was gone, and that he must 
find more kingdoms to subdue. Wild schemes of 
mastering, not only the habitable world, but of pene- 
trating beyond the bounds of all that was known, 
were freely attributed to him in the popular romances 
still extant. They make him desire to reach the 
eastern portals of the sun, the fountain of life, and 
the hiding-place of the night. All these exag- 
gerations are not pure fictions, but mark the general 
feeling of men that there was a vein of knight-errantry 
in him, that he courted adventure for its own sake, 
that he unduly surrendered the duty of organizing his 
vast dominions to the desire for new and amazing 
glory, to the longing for such territories as no human 
being, not even an Alexander, could control. His 
organization hitherto was merely that of military 
occupation, with a civil officer to control the taxing. 
His capital was not at Pella, at Alexandria, at 
Babylon, but in his camp, where he carried with him all 
the splendid appointments, all the pompous ceremony, 
all the complicated etiquette, which he had learned 
from his foes. We have no reason to think he would 
ever have ceased, if his troops had followed him, till 
he passed through India, Burmah, and China, to the 
Yellow Sea ; for the itch of conquest was certainly 
growing upon him, and it became a passion which, 
after a time, he could not have controlled. But we 
must not anticipate. 

When Alexander had conquered Sogdiana and Bac- 
tria, he found himself stopped by the lofty mountain 


chain of the Hindukush ; and, to the south, he heard of 
the great waters of the Indus and the Deccan. Beyond 
were great peoples, with elephants and chariots, with 
a new culture and language, and a religion unknown 
even to report ; but neither mountains nor rivers were 
able to resist him. He passed over the Hindukush 
with his whole army — a task that hardly any modern 
general would attempt ; he forced the Koord- Kabul, 
and Khyber, passes ; he crossed the Indus, the 
Hydaspes, in the face of a great hostile army ; he 
conquered his new enemy and all his elephants with 
a skill not inferior to any yet shown ; the whole 
Punjaub was in his hands ; he was on the point of 
passing into India, when his troops — his Macedonian 
troops — refused to go further. They were worn out 
with battles and hardships ; they had suffered terribly 
from the climate, especially from the heavy summer 
rains, as well as from the snow of the Asiatic Alps ; 
they had more wealth than they could carry with 
them, and more than enough to fill their remaining 
years with splendour ; above all, they saw that, as 
they were consumed by the chances of war, they 
would be replaced by Orientals ; so that, when all the 
veterans were gone, Alexander would return from 
some land beyond the sun with a strange host to lord 
it over his old dominions. 

The king was compelled to give way ; but we may 
be sure he swore a great oath to himself that he would 
yet be lord over his rebellious troops, and carry out 
his own pleasure. His return by the south, his navi- 
gation of the Indus, and his march through Gedrosia, 
were rather geographical expeditions than campaigns, 


even though he had tough fighting on the Indus ; 
and on one occasion, in attacking the town of the 
Malli, he not only scaled a ladder first, but leapt 
down by himself into the town, was desperately 
wounded, and all but killed, before his personal 
aides-de-camp and guards could succour him. But 
such perils were to him no more than hunting adven- 
tures with large game are to ordinary men. 

In telling the story of Alexander's Empire we need 
not take any further account of his Indian provinces, 
except so far as we can trace Hellenistic 1 influences, 
and they are but few. Nay, even the Bactrian 
division breaks off very soon from any real solidarity 
with the West, and follows a policy and a history of its 
own. If Alexander had not permanently joined the 
Punjaub, or " Land of the Five Rivers," to the former 
Empire of Darius, he had at least let the Indians 
know of Western power and enterprise ; he made 
them stand on the defensive, and fear invasion, and 
so he entered into that long and vast duel which 

1 Mr. Grote defines Hellenism as " the aggregate of habits, sentiments, 
energies, and intelligence manifested by the Greeks during their epoch 
of autonomy," or self-government, as opposed to the sense given it 
(he says) by Droysen — " the aggregate of kingdoms into which 
Alexander's conquests became distributed, having for their point of 
similarity the common use of Greek speech, a certain proportion of 
Greeks, both as inhabitants and as officers, and a partial streak of 
Hellenic culture " — a definition which Mr. Grote deems misleading, or 
at least not sufficiently strict. See the " History of Greece," chap, xciv., 
near the end. I prefer to use for the German Hellenenthum the word 
Hdknedom, as opposed to Hellenism, which includes the spread of 
Greek culture among nations not Hellenic in blood. The corresponding 
adjectives are Hellenic and Hellenistic. It is Mr. Giote's use of the 
word Hellenism which is really misleading, 


subsists between the Oriental and the Frank to the 
present day. 

At this point of our history it rather concerns us 
to consider what organization Alexander gave to his 
vast dominions, when he returned to Babylon, which 
he made for the moment his capital. Perhaps his 
first occupation was to reorganize his army, to intro- 
duce Orientals into it on a level with Macedonians, 
and no doubt, when disciplined, in far larger numbers. 
The Macedonians again revolted, but the king was 
now too strong for them. He dismissed them at 
once from his service, and so brought them to their 
knees. He then ordered the return to Europe of all 
the veterans, who were at once the least efficient for 
long and weary campaigns and the most dangerous 
for their discontent. With a new army and a new 
organization, apparently with a disposition of infantry 
looser and more manageable than the formidable but 
cumbrous phalanx, he meant to start on new con- 
quests. We do not know whether he meant to subdue 
Arabia, and then start for Carthage and the Pillars of 
Hercules, or whether he had heard enough of the 
Romans, and their stubborn infantry, to think it his 
noblest path to further glory to attack Italy. The 
patriotic Livy thinks the Romans would even then 
have stopped his progress. 1 We, who look at things 
with clearer impartiality, feel sure that the conquest 
of Rome, though involving hard fighting and much 
loss, would have been quickly accomplished. If 
Hannibal easily defeated the far stronger Romans of 
his day by superior cavalry, how would the legions 

1 See " The Story of Rome," p. lis. 


have withstood the charge of Alexander and his com- 
panions ? Moreover, the Macedonians had siege 
trains and devices for attacking fortresses which 
Hannibal never possessed. We may regard it as 
certain that Rome would have succumbed ; but as 
equally certain that upon the king's death she would 
have recovered her liberty, and resumed her natural 
history, with this difference, that Hellenistic culture 
would have invaded Rome four generations earlier, 
and her education would have been widely different. 

We must confess it difficult to imagine that Alex- 
ander could have thought this campaign comparable 
to those in the far East, where the wonders of a 
splendid and unknown civilization had barely lifted 
the veil to his eager and astonished gaze. What were 
the Tiber and the Po compared to the Ganges and 
the Brahmaputra ? 

Yet one thing was clear. Before the king could 
adventure himself again into any of these knight- 
errant expeditions, he must insist upon order and 
method in his acknowledged conquests ; and he 
found anything but order there. He found that the 
adventurous Greeks, and even Macedonian nobles, 
whom he had made governors over provinces, had not 
been proof against temptation. They heard of his 
continued triumphs in the East. They hardly ex- 
pected that he would ever return ; or at least they 
thought, like the servant in the Gospel : "Our Lord 
delayeth his coming." They rifled royal tombs, op- 
pressed subjects, extorted treasure, and assumed royal 
power. Alexander made short work with these 
offenders. Of course, his various agents must have 


had large powers of control during his long absences. 
Antipater in Macedonia, and Antigonus in Phrygia, 
were old and tried servants, who kept for years quite 
a court for themselves, and many were the complaints 
of Olympias, the queen-mother, to her son of Anti- 
pater's arbitary conduct, and his replies, showing that 
he must carry out his trust without permitting the 
interference even of royal princesses. The king's 
treasurer at Babylon, Harpalus, embezzled money, 
and fled on the king's approach to Athens, where his 
advent with treasure, and his bribing of public men, 
caused that commotion at Athens which ended in the 
banishment of Demosthenes. So also we hear that 
in Egypt the Greek put in charge of the finances con- 
ducted himself badly, and was guilty of oppression 
and extortion. Everything showed that the whole 
system of the empire required reform, and that, 
besides military governors and fiscal agents," some 
settled method of control from the central point of 
the empire was absolutely necessary to prevent speedy 

Hitherto the king's capital had been his camp, 
moving with his campaigns, and often at the very 
extremity of his provinces. Here, indeed, there was 
always great state — pages, household officers, chamber- 
lains, and all the ceremony of a royal residence- 
There were secretaries keeping a careful journal of 
every day's events ; there was a staff office, with its 
adjutants and orderlies. There was a state dinner, 
to which the king sat down with fifty or sixty guests ; 
and, as in the play, 1 when he pledged the gods in 

1 Hamlet, i. 4, vv. S59. 


libations and draughts of wine, the bray of trumpets 
proclaimed to the whole army that the king drank. 
The excesses, too, of their revels were notorious, as 
they had been even in Philip's time ; the king would 
tell his adventures and boast of his prowess in the 
chase and in war ; they would spend the night in 
drinking.according to Macedonian andThracian habits, 
and not as suited the hotter climate of the South. So 
the toils of the day and excesses of the night were 
such as must have exhausted many a sound consti- 
tution, and made many a young man grow old before 
his time. Our accounts of the great king at the age 
of thirty-two represent him as far advanced from the 
gaiety of youth, scarred with wounds, violent and 
often gloomy in temper, and shaking off his colossal- 
cares only by the deep draughts and the noisy ex- 
citement of a long night revel. It required no solemn 
signs and strange portents to warn men that such a 
life could not last. Ominous events accompanied the 
king's advent to Babylon, and when after several 
nights of drinking, he was declared in fever, the public 
alarm must have been quickly aroused. We have 
the bulletins yet, which were issued to tell the army 
of their hero's illness ; the anxious quest of oracles by 
his friends; the solemn march of the Macedonians 
past the bed-side of the speechless monarch. Then 
came the news that he was dead, and the world with- 
out a master. 

A great terror seized upon the stoutest hearts. 
While the body of the great king lay alone, and 
deserted by the amazed household, stray shouts broke 
the anxious silence of the city, men hurried to and 


fro in the night, without lights and muffled in disguise* 
seeking in tumultuous council, or in random inquiry, 
to forecast what should happen on the morrow. There 
were confused sounds of mourning and woe, not 
round about the bier of the king, but for the disasters 
which each awaited in his home. 

The Orientals had most to lose. Alexander had 
been their father and protector against the insolence 
and tyranny of Macedonians and Greeks. But even 
the Macedonians, who had revolted and complained of 
late, knew that the real secret of their supremacy 
over men had departed. 




The conflict of various interests was not long in 
showing itself, and turned in the first instance on the 
succession to the throne. Alexander had left an ille- 
gitimate brother, the weak-minded Philip Arridaeus, 
son of a Thessalian dancer ; he had an illegitimate 
son, Herakles, by Barsine, the widow of Darius's best 
Greek general, Memnon ; his wife, Roxane, was ex- 
pecting an heir. There was, moreover, Statira, 
daughter of the late king of Persia, to whom he 
had been recently married. All these claimants, or 
quasi claimants, found supporters either now or in the 
sequel. But all these supporters were advocating, 
not the interests of the royal house, but their own. 
There were also the queen-mother, Olympias, a 
woman of imperious character, beloved by the Mace- 
donians as the mother of their hero, and Cleopatra 
(queen of Epirus), the full sister of Alexander ; not 
to speak of Kynane, the daughter of Philip by a 
Thracian connection. It was the obvious misfortune 
of the king's early death, that he could not possibly 
have an adult heir, and so all these collateral claimants 
could make some case pending the birth of his child 
by the Queen Roxane. 


At the very outset there were conflicts in the palace 
even while the king lay there unburied. Then it 
came out tha,t the cavalry and horse-guards, headed 
for the moment by Perdiccas, the senior officer of the 
household, were in favour of a small council of lords, 
awaiting the expected birth of the king's heir, while 
the infantry, led by Meleager, a Greek, proclaimed 
Philip Arridaeus king. After a dangerous crisis, a 
compromise was made, and the whole army, horse 
and foot, marched between the divided halves of a 
sacrificed dog, according to a quaint and barbarous 
survival of old Macedonian manners ; and then came 
a sham fight, still in pursuance of precedent, in which 
the cavalry faced the infantry. In old days this may 
have been thought fair sides ; but since Alexander's 
reforms in the army, and the acquisition of elephants, 
which counted as cavalry, infantry was perfectly help- 
less on open ground. The elephants could be used 
to break the phalanx, and then they could be cut to 
pieces by the cavalry ; so the sham fight turned into 
terrible earnest. Perdiccas demanded the leaders of 
the party who had dared to anticipate his policy by 
setting up Philip Arridaeus. Thirty of them, accord- 
ing to the lowest estimate, were surrendered, and 
forthwith trampled to death by the elephants — a 
horrible proof of the Oriental barbarism as to punish- 
ment which had infected the Macedonians, and which 
remains a blot on all the Hellenistic age. 

According to the compromise, Philip Arridaeus was 
to be titular king, until the birth and growth of the 
proper heir. Perdiccas was to be the regent, and to 
manage the central affairs, the main army, and the 
imperial interests. Various high offices of Court or of 


state were given to his rivals and friends, but the main 
thing was that the ablest and greatest of them were 
sent off to govern various provinces of the empire as 
satraps, and satraps with full military power in their 
province. The man who is said to have urged and 
carried this measure was Ptolemy, son of Lagus, an 
extremely active and trusted officer under Alexander, 
afterwards his historian, who preferred to leave the 
centre of affairs, and be exiled to a province, for the 
solid profit of making for himself a definite and 
defensible kingdom. He started at once for Egypt, 
which he never surrendered, but bequeathed, as we 
shall see, a prosperous and wealthy dominion to his 

This short history need not concern itself with all 
the other divisions of provinces, which were upset and 
rearranged several times during the next few years, 
though a few, like the lot of Ptolemy, proved more 
permanent. Macedonia was given to Antij ater, the 
old regent of that province, and he retained it all his 
life. He was so firm and loyal an adherent to the 
royal house, whose special guardian and protector he 
became, that he disinherited his son Casander, the 
bitter enemy of Alexander and his family ; but that 
prince recovered what he regarded his patrimony, and 
though his weak and worthless children were set aside 
by Demetrius, it was the descendants of this king by 
Phila, daughter of Antipater and sister of Casander, 
who held the throne of Macedonia till it was swallowed 
up in the Roman Empire. 

The other permanency, the kingdom of the Seleu- 
cids, does not yet appear, though Seleucus was 


already a distinguished officer, entrusted by the 
regent Perdiccas with the Chiliarchy, or next in 
command to the " Guardian Plenipotentiary" (iirifie\i]- 
T179 avTOKparwp). But he was then only about thirty 
years of age, and stood below the veterans of the 
older generation, who naturally got the first choice. 
Of these, two of the most popular and important, 
Craterus and Leonnatus, were killed out of the way, 
the latter in battle with the Greeks, as shall presently 
be told, and at the moment when he and the royal 
Cleopatra, Alexander's sister, and widow of the king 
of Epirus, were about to marry, and set up claims to 
the whole Empire. A third, Lysimachus, disappears 
from prominence in his satrapy of Thrace, where he 
carried on war for years with the barbarians, with 
such varying success as to be once even taken captive, 
but who, before the end of his life, attained great 
power, and commanded not only Thrace, but a large 
part of Western Asia Minor. The princes of Perga- 
mum, called Attalids, were the successors to the 
Asiatic part of his kingdom. A fourth, Antigonus, 
who had already been satrap, under Alexander, of 
Phrygia for ten years, and was very popular there, 
was ordered by the Regent Perdiccas to leave his 
province and go with an army to assist in installing 
Eumcnes in his lot of Paphlagonia, the country 
reaching from Sinope round to Trebizond and the 

Here we come in contact with the two men who 
occupy all Asia for the next few years — Eumenes, the 
great king's private secretary, a clever boy of Cardia, 
who had made his own fortune, was promoted over 


the heads of many noble Macedonians, and conse- 
quently hated by them as an upstart Greekling ; and 
Antigonus, the ablest of Alexander's generals, as it 
turned out, and the one who made far the best or the 
most dangerous attempt to wrest the whole empire 
into his own hands. Of. these, Eumenes, from his 
position, was necessarily devoted to the interests of 
the royal family. As their minister and supporter he 
was great ; as an independent sovereign he would not 
for an instant be recognized by the Macedonian 
armies. Hence he stood by Perdiccas the Regent, 
and_ was the only satrap who did so. All the rest 
sought to found independent sovranties at least, the 
more ambitious to seize the whole empire — some with 
the aid of a marriage connection with the royal family, 
some by the mere force of arms. 

So began the struggles which lasted forty- five years, 
in which most of the companions and successors of 
Alexander lost their lives. To follow out the details 
of these varied conflicts is quite beyond the scope of 
any practical book. We need only concern our- 
selves with the campaigns which have gained a place 
in literature, and the main ideas which underlay the 
great conflict. Of the wars immediately following 
Alexander's death, only three phases are worthy of 
record here. First, the attack on Egypt by the Regent 
Perdiccas, who, when he had summoned the dis- 
obedient satraps before him, and Antigonus had fled 
to Europe, fell upon Ptolemy, and sought to crush 
him. The pretended cause of war was that Ptolemy 
had met tb~ splendid funeral cortege of Alexander, on 
its way to the tomb assigned by the Regent (probably 


a shrine of Jupiter Ammon at Aegae, the mausoleum 
of the Macedonians), and from Syria brought it to 
Memphis, pending its establishment in Alexandria. 
All men thought the presence of the hero, even dead, 
would bring no ordinary honour and blessing to the 
resting-place chosen for him, and when we hear that 
several years later Eumencs was able, by the fiction 
of a royal tent, and the spiritual presence of the king, 
to appease the jealousy of the Macedonians, we see 
that the great king was already becoming that kind 
of fetish, which filled the imagination of all the 
romances for centuries. 

Ptolemy met the invasion, defeated it, and in the 
confusion and anger of the defeat, insurgent soldiers 
killed Perdiccas. Here we may once for all note the 
extraordinary difficulty of invading Egypt, except by 
means of a superior fleet, and even then along a coast 
which contained no harbours for hundreds of miles. 
Antigonus at the zenith of his power tried the same 
thing, and miserably failed. This was the secret of 
Ptolemy's choice, and the secret of his singular success. 
Even the Romans were exceedingly afraid of this 
peculiar and isolated position, owing to the power it 
conferred on its ruler, and so they took special care 
to let no ambitious or distinguished person assume so 
unchecked an authority. 

Meanwhile Antipater had been waging a danger- 
ous contest with the Greeks, known as the Lamian 
War, in which the confederated Greeks attempted 
to assert their liberty. They were under the com- 
mand of the gallant Leosthenes, and besieged the 
veteran general at Lamia in Thessaly. He was in 

pacification of Greece. 49 

great straits, even after the death of Leosthenes, who 
was killed in a skirmish. 1 With the help of troops 
from Asia, and of Leonnatus, who was however killed 
in a battle, but still more with the help of time, which 
disintegrates all confederations when opposed to a 
despotic enemy, he won the substantial victory at 
Crannon, and dictated his terms to the Greeks. More 
stern, and perhaps more practical, than Philip after 
Chaeronea (B.C. 338) and Alexander after the destruc- 
tion of Thebes (B c. 335), he insisted on the death 
of the political leaders who had led the republican 
opposition. So Demosthenes and Hypereides met 
their fate (323), and this in itself has made the war 
of Antipater famous. Otherwise his settlement of 
Greece was not severe ; he raised the franchise, 
excluding paupers from political rights, and by 
means of Macedonian garrisons sought to keep order 
throughout the country. 

The last moments of the orator have been made im- 
mortal by the narrative of Plutarch. He has done nearly 
as much for Eumenes, so far as a stirring biography 
can do it. 2 When the Successors, Diadochi, 3 as they 
are designated, assembled to make a hew division at 
Triparadeisus (321), Antipater and Ptolemy were con- 
firmed ; so was Antigonus in his kingdom of Phrygia, 
and Seleucus was assigned Babylon ; but Eumenes 

1 The virtues of Leosthenes are celebrated in the splendid funeral 
oration of Hypereides, recovered to us some years ago on an Egyptian 

2 See his "Life of Demosthenes," and " Life of Eumenes." 

3 The word diadochi means successors, and is used to include Antigo- 
nus, Ptolemy, Seleucus, Lysimachus, etc. — the actual companions of 


(who had been the close ally of Perdiccas, and who 
moreover had meanwhile slain in battle Craterus, the 
most popular of all the generals, and Neoptolemus), 
was declared by the Macedonians a public enemy. 
His ability and tried loyalty to the royal house, now 
given in charge to Antipater, gave him such power 
in his province, that he was not easy to conquer, and 
the next years are filled with widely extended and 
elaborate campaigns, sieges, victories, and defeats, sus- 
tained by either side in the great war between An- 
tigonus and Eumenes. They at times even met as 
friendly rivals, and endeavoured to make a settle-, 
ment ; but their interests never agreed, they were 
each too ambitious to play a second part, and too 
suspicious to trust themselves to any agreement 
without retaining their armaments. In the end, An- 
tigonus won by seducing Eumenes' Macedonian 
veterans, and put his adversary to death (B.C. 315). 
This was in Persia, and it gave him command of the 
eastern provinces and their enormous wealth. The 
coalition kept together against him by Eumenes was 
dissolved ; and he proceeded to settle all Asia 
according to his desire. 

The only important obstacle was Seleucus, the 
popular satrap of Babylon. Antigonus endeavoured 
to summon him to a trial, of which the issue could not 
be doubtful ; but Seleucus escaped with the greatest 
difficulty into Egypt, to await better times. So far 
Antigonus, however, was master, and was plainly no 
earnest supporter of the royal house ; he sought 
universal sovranty for himself, and then for his 
splendid son Demetrius, who seemed more likely 


than any one else to succeed to the position of 

Meanwhile the European provinces had gone 
through a series of battles of their own. So long as 
Antipater lived, there was some peace ; but when not 
only his death supervened, but he was found to have 
left the regency entrusted to him to Polysperchon, 
one of his brothers in arms, and not to his son 
Casander, all manner of seeds were sown for future 
wars. Casander, who from the beginning discarded 
the theory of submitting to Alexander's children, 
set up in opposition to Polysperchon. The latter, 
finding himself in difficulties, issued one of those 
many absurd proclamations, giving liberty to all the 
Greeks, which were made in after years by every 
ruler ambitious of their support — by Antigonus and 
by his son, by Ptolemy, but always with the in- 
tent of securing a more permanent dominion over 

These party struggles do not concern us. On the 
whole, Casander was successful ; he re-introduced 
peace and order into Athens, after the disgraceful 
scenes countenanced by Polysperchon, and with him 
by the silly phantom of a king, Philip Arridaeus. 
Plutarch has again given us a picture of the times 
which no one that reads it can forget, in the closing 
scenes of his " Life of Phocion," when we see what 
use the Athenian rabble made of their so-called 
liberty. All this was stopped by Casander, so far as 
his power reached. At Athens, a pupil of Aristotle, 
Demetrius of Phaleron, a philosopher, man of letters, 
and man of pleasure, kept things quiet and orderly, 


with the help of a Macedonian garrison close'at hand 
in the Piraeus. 

Casander never gained complete control of Greece. 
He was always contending with the representatives 
of the royal house, and it was only with the aid of 
their internal quarrels that he was able to plan their 
destruction. Olympias, the queen- mother, who was 
devoted to her son and his heir, got hold of Mace- 
donia for a while, and forthwith ordered the murder 
of the titular king Arridaeus, and of his wife Eury- 
dike, the grand-daughter of Philip, whose masculine 
ambition made her dangerous, and likely to oust the 
proper heir, now a growing child. But Olympias did 
not confine her vengeance to these pretenders. She 
raged among the partisans of Casander, and made 
herself so odious, that her great prestige could only 
delay her murderers and make them hesitate. She 
died a splendid old savage queen, devoting all her 
energies to the protection of her grandson, but en- 
cumbered with perplexities, with varying factions, 
with cross-purposes in policy, which no woman that 
ever lived could have overcome. 

By a settlement made between the contending 
satraps in the year 311, after a struggle of four 
years on the part of a coalition to overcome Antigo- 
nus, or perhaps rather of Antigonus to subdue all 
these his rivals, Casander was secured in the posses- 
sion of Macedonia, and the royal widow Roxane and 
her son, whom the death of Olympias had left in his 
hands as prisoners, were placed in his charge till the 
prince should be of age. No one dared to question 
the boy's rights, and every ambitious leader pre- 


tended to assert them against the encroachments of 
his rivals ; but Casander, of all the Successors, was 
the most coldly and cruelly determined to abolish the 
whole house of Alexander, and to assert himself as 
king of Macedonia. He had married a daughter of 
Philip (Alexander's father), and had reconquered the 
authority of Antipater, bequeathed to a stranger, 
Polysperchon. He determined to keep the boy and 
his mother in close ward at Amphipolis, and when 
voices were heard among the people, commiserating 
the fate of the unfortunate prince, he had both 
mother and son privily murdered. 

Nothing in history is more tragic than the fate of 
this child of thirteen, for whom all the world waited 
in anxious expectation ; born with no father to pro- 
tect him, and carried about even as an infant from 
camp to camp, from province to province, the watch- 
word of parties, the cloak for ambitions, the excuse 
for murders, in charge of two homicidal princesses, 
his mother and grandmother. Then he was gradually 
neglected, confined, imprisoned, and while titular 
lord of all the Eastern world, was the captive of a 
cruel and relentless despot. At last he disappears 
like the English Princes in the Tower, with a fate 
like that of Louis XVII. and of the Rot de Rome, 
but without leaving us a trace of his person or of 
his character. He gives the date and authority to 
coins ; he is named in pompous hieroglyphics as 
the king Alexander, the Great Lord, Blessed, that 
liveth for ever. To us, as to the men that made 
the inscription, the imperial child is but a name, and 
yet so tragic from his every fortune that few of the 



greatest sufferers, whose heroic sorrows are known to 
us all, can claim a higher place in the hierarchy of 
human martyrdom. 

With the death of this prince and his mother, fol- 
lowing on that of Olympias, and her opponents Philip 
Arridaeus and Eurydike, all pretence or sustaining 
the dynasty of Alexander was abandoned. The great 
king's sister Cleopatra, lived indeed a royal widow at 
Sard is, wooed by all the world ; but those whom she 
would have chosen, Leonnatus and Perdiccas, died 
before the event, and she spurned the rest as un- 
worthy consorts. Still Antigonus kept her in his 
power, and when at last she consented to marry 
Ptolemy, to escape from his control, Antigonus had 
her murdered, lest the Egyptian chief should get this 
title to supremacy. So disappears the last legitimate 
claimant to the empire. The bastard Herakles was 
indeed set up for a moment, as every possible puppet 
was, to strengthen the case of adventurous freebooters 
in their search after royalty ; but he was thrust aside 
and murdered (B.C. 309) like the rest, and the details 
of his life need not trouble us here. 









(B.C. 3I3-3OI.) 


We come now to an epoch when all the sa- 
traps, who had pretended to hold their sway in the 
interest of the royal house, became independent 
princes, and presently assumed the title of kings. 
Beginning in the year 306 B.C., monarchy became 
the popular title and the accepted form of govern- 
ment all through the great empire of Alexander. 
It was not hereditary ; but in those days, it must be 
repeated, no claim was dreamt of older than the 
division after Alexander's death. He was conceded 
by all to have conquered the world by lawful conquest 
and to own it by an indefeasible right. All succeed- 
ing monarchs traced back their legitimacy to his title, 
and so a perfectly new epoch in Hellenic and Eastern 
history begins. This is called the epoch of Hellenism. 
Such little antiquated hole-and-corner affairs as the 
kingdom of Sparta were no longer looked upon as of 
the least importance, or as models for any one to copy. 
We notice that none of these satraps, however power- 


ful, or well established in their kingdoms, ventured to 
assume the name of king till the royal family was 
extinct ; we notice that then they assume it almost 
simultaneously ; Antigonus and Ptolemy first, then 
Casander, Lysimachus ; by and by, Demetrius the 
Besieger. Nor do we hear of one word of objection 
to the title on the part of nations whose whole watch- 
word had been, not only liberty, but democracy. It 
was the Athenians who led the way in hailing Deme- 
trius as king. 

This remarkable state of feeling throughout the 
nations requires a moment's explanation. It was no 
doubt induced, in the first instance, by the enormous 
figure Alexander had made in the world. He had 
shown that an absolute monarch — for he was practi- 
cally such — could protect and enrich his friends, and 
overcome his enemies, as no republic had ever yet 
done up to that time. His nation, of whom the 
dominant class took up the reins of empire from his 
hand, were all brought up under monarchical princi- 
ples ; the great Republic of Italy was still in obscurity ; 
the Greek philosophers, now an important element in 
public opinion, were recommending monarchy in 
all their writings ; they argued that the public was an 
ass, the majority fools, and that the rule of a few 
select men, or of one pre-eminent person was the only 
form of government fit for civilized men. We may 
add, that if ever a state of nature appeared to be a 
state of war, it was in these dreadful times, when no 
one could see an end to the conflict among the various 
kings, and when the only safety possible was the 
protection of a powerful and victorious monarch. 


Neutrality meant the certainty of being conquered or 
plundered by each of the warring sides in turn. More- 
over, these belligerent kings were too busy and too 
vagrant to weigh heavily on the local liberties of any 
small city state. In general, a contribution of men 
and money for war was all that was demanded, and 
they were profuse in their declarations of liberating 
the Greek cities in this particular sense, of communal 
autonomy, or the right of managing their own local 
affairs as they pleased. The occasional violation of 
this privilege by armed interference, which was not 
unfrequent under these sovrans, was thought a lesser 
evil than the perpetual tyranny of the needy classes, 
who, in the case of manhood suffrage, turned their 
political power into a daily source of plunder. 

There was indeed one expedient, which would 
naturally occur to any American reader, by which 
small free states might secure their independence with- 
out submitting to a foreign monarch — I mean the 
principle of Federation. And, as might be expected, 
this principle was adopted as a means of escape from 
Monarchy, and with some success. The present 
crisis, about the year 306 B.C. when kings sprang up 
all over Alexander's empire, suddenly shows us the 
first of these Federations in growth, that of the 
maritime and island cities in the Levant, reaching 
from Heraclea in Pontus, and Byzantium, down to 
Rhodes, the chief organizer of this system. These 
cities had the peculiar advantage, that they were so 
defended and supplied by the sea, as to render their 
conquest impossible without a blockade by a superior 
fleet, and this arm of war the Federation could itself 


supply in such strength as to checkmate kings who 
had large land armies. So this Federation of free 
coast and island cities obtained for itself respect and 
attention from the neighbouring kings, and performed 
the duty of looking after maritime commerce by 
keeping the seas free of pirates, and by establishing 
a sound system of marine law. The Rhodian code 
was in use up to the days of the Roman Empire. 

These remarks will explain the situation of the 
world, which lasted from 311 to 301 B.C. when the 
lesser aspirants to empire had been cleared away, and 
five remained as masters of the spoil — first, Seleucus, 
now returned from Egypt and popular in Babylon, 
with a control, though not very absolute, of the 
eastern provinces. Then came Antigonus, whose 
kingdom included the main body of Asia Minor, 
but who was far from being content with this, and 
hoped to subdue Seleucus in the East, which he 
had already conquered in former years, and had only 
lost owing to his head being full of trouble in warring 
with Ptolemy for the possession of Syria, and if 
possible Egypt, as well as the coast cities of Asia, 
which Ptolemy helped with his fleet and money. The 
ambition of Antigonus was also checked to the north- 
west by Lysimachus, whose power, not yet consolidated 
in Thrace, was yet growing stronger and stronger, 
and, after the foundation of his new capital Lysima- 
cheia, on the sea of Marmora, was to extend into 
Asia Minor. This coalition of Seleucus, Ptolemy, 
and Lysimachus, was strengthened in Europe by 
Casander, who had always followed consistently the 
policy of separate kingdoms, whereas Antigonus 



plainly aspired to ruling the conquests of Alexander 
alone. His power was so great, that he was all but a 
match for the rest, especially with the assistance of 
his brilliant son Demetrius, who was a general and 
admiral of the first order, and whom he sent to detach 
Greece from Casander, and so produce a diversion 
against his foes in the west. The wars of Demetrius 
have been told us by Plutarch in a Life of no less 
interest than any of his famous series, and which is 
only less read because the historical period in which 
it lies is so complicated and little understood, that 


his deeds do not fall into any particular frame. This 
it is which the present book strives to make known 
to the reader. Demetrius' successes at Athens and 
throughout Greece were very brilliant ; he was 
received at Athens as the Deliverer and Defender. 
He was worshipped in the temple of the Virgin 
Goddess, the Parthenon, though his habits of life 
were those of a Don Juan, and not of a companion of 
Athene. Having thus paralyzed Casander, he also 
sought in a great campaign to subdue Rhodes, and 
compel its powerful fleet to join the force of Antigonus. 
If he had succeeded, Ptolemy would have been ruined, 


for a more powerful fleet would have enabled Anti- 
gonus to land his superior land forces in Egypt, and 
thus avoid the disasters which he, like all the other 
invaders of that country at this period, suffered by 
attempting the attack by way of Palestine and the 
Arabian desert. 

So all the world's attention was fixed on the great 
struggle at Rhodes (B.C. 305 ?), where Demetrius 
exhausted all known means of attack, while the 
Rhodians, actively helped by Ptolemy's money, sup- 
plies, and men, were no less zealous in the defence. 
Fortunately he was not able to invest the town, which 
was open to help, and so the siege resembled that of 
Sebastopol, which the assailants tried to reduce by 
bombardment and assault, while the defenders were 
constantly being reinforced from without. Demetrius 
bombarded the place literally, for since Alexander's 
day the power of engines to throw darts and great 
stones was so developed, that not only was their range 
increased to 300 yards, but they were able to shake 
walls and batter down defences without actually com- 
ing within the close range of the battering ram. The 
great machine used by Demetrius, and called the City 
Taker {k\kivo\ii), can be compared to nothing but the 
broadside of one of our old line-of-battle ships, 
which poured out destruction from the port-holes of 
several decks. It was constructed in several stories, 
protected with raw hides and penthouses from fire and 
from darts, and carrying an immense number of men 
and engines, so as to sweep the opposing battlements 
of its defenders, as well as to shake the walls them- 
selves. Yet all this and many assaults were unavail- 


ing against the Rhodians, who kept communication 
open with Egypt by sea, constantly intercepted 
Demetrius' supplies, and defended every point with 
the greatest bravery. 

All the time empty courtesies were passing between 
the combatants, which show how war had become the 
every-day occupation of the better classes, and was 
carried on as a matter of policy, not of principle or of 
passion. The Rhodians had made every effort to 
remain neutral, in fact, they had ceded every point 
demanded except to take part in active warfare against 
Egypt, and to give one hundred hostages of their 
magnates as security to Demetrius. When hostilities 
commenced, it was agreed by both sides to surrender 
prisoners made in battle at the rate of five minae for a 
slave, and ten for a free man — a very high rate, by the 
way, as compared with the two minaj (about £8) 
customary in Herodotus' day or before it, throughout 
the Peloponnesus. When the Rhodians complained 
that a celebrated picture of the mythical Ialysos 
would be burnt in the painter's studio, if the suburbs 
were cleared for the siege, Demetrius answered that 
he would rather defile the tombs of his ancestors than 
molest the artist and his work. Perpetually embassies 
were arriving from neutral states throughout the Greek 
world, offering mediation, and truces were held, during 
which terms of agreement were discussed. When at 
last the prince saw that the siege was not progressing, 
and might last long enough to ruin his interests else- 
where, he agreed to a peace very much on the basis 
originally offered by the Rhodians, except that they 
ceded the point about hostages, with the proviso 


that they should not be office-bearers. This, we 
may presume, saved the principal magnates from the 
compulsory residence, though doubtless in luxury 
and comfort, at Ephesus, the town appointed for 

The great siege confirmed the public opinion of the 
power and determination, as well as of the modera- 
tion and good sense, of the Rhodian Republic, and 
greatly strengthened their power to lead in a Fede- 
ration of mercantile cities, not unlike the Hanseatic 
League. It was doubtless the success of this league 
of maritime cities, which suggested to the smaller and 
obscurer states of Greece, which had no imperial 
record, and no capital with insurmountable claims or 
jealousies, to form similar confederations, or to 
strengthen and extend those which already existed. 
Among the neutral powers offering mediation at the 
siege of Rhodes were the ^Etolians, afterwards almost 
the leaders in the Greek world. The Achaean League 
was also in existence, but in obscurity. It was not for 
another generation or two that the importance of 
these Alpine Federations, for such they were, became 
manifest ; though even now they were accumulating 
one necessary condition of power, and that was wealth. 
As the trade of the Levant, after the destruction of 
Tyre, had fallen into the hands of the Greek maritime 
cities of the Asiatic coasts and islands, and so enriched 
them as to make their fleet and finance indispensable 
elements in estimating the powers of the day, so the 
fortunes gained by yEtolians, Achaeans, and Arcadians, 
who had an old habit of leaving their mountain glens 
and serving as mercenaries, were now so large, that 


A, Actual remains ; B, Restoration ; C, Coin of Demetrius ; D. Restoration (from 
the coin), of the whole monument. 


they outran in comforts and luxuries the life of the 
older and more settled cities, which were visibly 
declining, both in men and money. 

For the present the world's interest was elsewhere — 
in the renewed attempt of Antigonus to gain universal 
mastery, and in the renewed coalition of Seleucus, 
Lysimachus, Ptolemy, and Casander to crush his 
power. He was still apparently a match for them ; 
his central position in Syria (he had a capital, called 
after himself Antigoncia, on the Orontes) enabled him 
to fight them separately, so that their junction was 
difficult. He had sent Demetrius to Greece, who was 
gradually pushing back Casander northwards, and 
promised soon to subdue him altogether. But the 
hopes of Antigonus, which were high, shipwrecked 
upon two unexpected difficulties — the strategic 
powers of Lysimachus, and the enormous forces of 
Seleucus. This latter prince had disappeared from 
our view for the last ten years, during which we know 
that he was engaged in campaigns on his eastern 
frontier, and among those nations which Alexander 
had rather terrified into submission by a great battle 
or two, than systematically subdued. Porus, his faith- 
ful subject, had been murdered, and other claimants 
arose. In Seleucus' day a great Oriental, Chandra- 
gupta, whom the Greeks called Sandracottus, had 
developed such power beyond the Indus, that Seleucus 
was glad to come to terms with him, purchasing his 
hearty alliance and support by the cession of those 
eastern provinces which lie beyond the great Persian 
desert — Gedrosia, Arachosia, and Paropamisus ; but 
he obtained five hundred elephants, and treasure so 



large that he from this time rises to the first rank 
among the Diadochi. 

His support, however, was tardy. He could not 
come by way of Mesopotamia and Syria, without con- 
quering Antigonus single handed, and there seem to 
have been great difficulties in the route by way of 
Armenia, which he was obliged to follow. Meanwhile, 
Lysimachus, expecting earlier aid, had invaded Asia 
Minor from the north, and carried all before him 
down to the mountains which bound Phrygia on the 
south ; but as Antigonus' hands were free, and 
Ptolemy was timid and lukewarm in making a diver- 
sion by way of Palestine, Lysimachus found himself 
in presence of a superior force, far from his base of 
operations — the Hellespont. On this occasion he 
showed his great qualities as a general. By fortifying 
lines, refusing battle, and compelling Antigonus to 
undertake regular siege- approaches, he occupied the 
precious time. No sooner was the assault upon his 
defences imminent than he retired suddenly north- 
wards, and repeated the same tactics with great success. 
This occupied the whole summer of 302 B.C. 

Meanwhile, Ptolemy had advanced as far as Tyre, 
but stopped and retired at the false news of a defeat 
of Lysimachus. About Seleucus' approach nothing 
was known. Everybody was in expectation, but the 
allies were separated, as has been said, and had no 
communication. At last Seleucus appeared, just 
when Lysimachus in his fortified camp in Mysia was 
in great difficulties. Not only was he opposed to 
Antigonus ; but that king had sent for his son Deme- 
trius, just when he stood ready over against Casander 


to win a decisive battle. The lesser war was obscured 
by the greater, and both combatants agreed that there 
should be peace in Greece while they sent their forces 
to the great scene of the world's conflict. Demetrius 
was superior in fleet ; and he also intercepted and 
harassed the supports sent from Macedonia by way of 
land to help Lysimachus. Had the campaign been 
protracted ; had Antigonus avoided a decisive con- 
flict, the empire would probably have come into his 
hands; but he was old, impatient, and obstinate. He 
and his son Demetrius met on the field of Ipsus, in 
Phrygia (B.C. 301), the combined forces of Lysimachus, 
with Casander's contingent, and that of Seleucus with 
four hundred and eighty elephants, and a vast cavalry 
commanded by the crown prince Antiochus. The 
conflict was bloody, and Demetrius with his cavalry 
performed the part of Prince Rupert in pursuing 
while the battle was still in the balance. Ultimately 
Antigonus fell, aged eighty-one ; his forces were scat- 
tered and surrendered, and his son became a fugitive 
with a few thousand men, but with a fleet which was 
still able to withstand his enemies. 

So ended the last serious attempt to reconquer the 
whole empire of Alexander. Demetrius, indeed, 
never abandoned the dream. After many adventures 
as a fugitive, as a pirate almost, then as a pretender 
to the throne of Macedon, then (when Casander was 
dead) as king of Macedon, he that had kept the 
world in turmoil was taken by Seleucus, and as a 
state captive eat away his heart in fretful idleness 
and despairing dissipation. The " Life " by Plutarch 
gives us a curious picture of this wonderful personage, 


so attractive to the end that countless cities begged 
his release from Seleucus (a release which old Lysi- 
machus so dreaded that he offered 2000 talents to 
Seleucus to make away with him) — so attractive that 
his noble wife Phila, Casander's sister, stood by him 
through all his infidelities and political marriages, and 
took her own life when she despaired of his success ; 
so attractive that his noble and serious son Antigonus, 
the founder of a new line of kings in Macedonia, 
offered to surrender his own liberty, and was even 
ready to sacrifice his life for his knight-errant father. 

When the sons of Cas.inder were set aside — the one 
murdered by his brother, the other by Demetrius — 
there was no home claimant for the throne so strong 
as the husband of Phila ; but his struggles were with 
Pyrrhus, the adventurous king of Epirus, on the one 
hand, and with Lysimachus on the other. These 
princes were more than a match for him, if not in 
strategy, at least in prestige and popularity. Lysi- 
machus was one of the Companions of Alexander, 
a title in that day surpassing every other honour ; 
Pyrrhus was singularly genial and kindly, as well as 
chivalrous, and in these taking qualities Demetrius 
seems to have failed when he was actually king ; but 
his adventures and fortunes in these later years are 
among the complications of history which serve to 
perplex and not to instruct the reader. 




(B.C. 301-2/8.) 

With the battle of Ipsus there began a new epoch 
for the Diadochi. Lysimachus and Seleucus had 
borne the brunt of the fight, and took the lion's share 
of the spoil. Ptolemy had been lukewarm, and had 
even left them in the lurch, so Seleucus took the 
cities of Phoenicia and Syria, which the other had 
bargained for, or even occupied with garrisons, and 
henceforth this western point of his great empire 
gives it its title in history. All the East was in his 
power. He ruled up to the line from Trebizond to 
Issus, and was here separated from the power of 
Lysimachus by a sort of neutral zone of smaller 
states — Pontus, Armenia, and Cappadocia — which, 
though insignificant, pursued a policy of their own, 
had their own dynasties, which they derived from 
the Persian kings, and were the last remnants of 
the empire of Alexander subdued by the Romans. 
Mithridates of Pontus and the kings of Armenia 
figure as enemies or allies of Rome, long after the 
greater members of the empire were gone. Lysi- 
machus, on the other hand, got valuable possessions 


in Asia Minor, one of which, Pergamum, became 
itself an important kingdom. He was the second 
king in the world then, and but for the unmanageable 
Demetrius, would doubtless have occupied Macedonia 
permanently after Casander's death. This latter was 
left in possession of what European possessions he 
could assert, possibly he was assigned the kingdom 
of Pyrrhus, if he could take it. Casander died of 
disease (a rare end among this seed of dragon's 
teeth) in 297 B.C., and so the Greeks were left to 
assert their liberty, and Demetrius to machinate and 
effect his establishment on the throne of Macedonia, 
as well as to keep the world in fear and suspense by 
his naval forces, and his preparations to reconquer 
his father's position. Lysimachus, Seleucus, and 
Ptolemy were watching one another, and alternating 
in alliance and in war. 

All these princes, as well as Demetrius and Pyrrhus, 
king of Epirus, were connected in marriage ; they all 
married as many wives as they pleased, apparently 
without remonstrance from their previous consorts. 
So the whole complex of the warring kings were in 
close family relations, reaching from the daughter 
of the Indian Sandracottus, married to Seleucus, to 
Lanassa, the daughter of the Sicilian tyrant, Aga- 
thocles, who married Pyrrhus of Epirus, and then 
proposed to change him for the more romantic 
Demetrius. Pyrrhus was now a very rising and 
ambitious prince ; if not in alliance with Demetrius, 
he was striving to extend his kingdom of Epirus into 
Macedonia, and would doubtless have succeeded, but 
for the superior power of Lysimachus. This Thracian 

Ptolemy's children. 


monarch, in spite of serious reverses against the 
barbarians of the North, who took both him and his 
son prisoners, and released them very chivalrously, 
about this time possessed a solid and secure kingdom, 
and moreover an able and righteous son, Agathocles, 
so that his dynasty might have been established, but 
for the poisonous influence of Arsinoe, the daughter of 
Ptolemy, whom he, an old man, had married in token 
of an alliance after the battle of Ipsus. 

The reader can hardly understand the complicated 
family quarrel which brought about, first, the death 
of Agathocles, then of his father Lysimachus, then of 
Seleucus, and the consequent rearrangement of the 
whole Eastern world, without the following table. 
It will start for convenience' sake from Ptolemy, and 
will only mention those of his wives and of his 
children which concern us in the present matter. 

Ptolemy I. (Soter) born 367, king 306, died 283. 

married — 
Eurydike, sister of Casander. 
Her children — 

1. Ptoltmy Keraunos. 

2. Ftolemais, married king De- 

3. Lysandra, married — (1) Alex- 
ander (son of Casander) ; (2) 
Agathocles(son of Lysimachus). 

married — 
Berenice,daughter of Magas (prince 
of Cyrene). 

Her children — 

4. Arsinoe, married — (1) King 
Lysimachus ; (2) her half 
brother (Ptolemy Ker.) ; (3) 
her full brother (Ptolemy 

5. Ptolemy II. (Philadelphia) 
born 309, king 2S5, d. 246) 
married — (1) Arsinoe (daughter 
of Lysimachus) ; (2) Arsinoe, 
his own full sister. 

Every one who studies this table will see the main 
cause of the confusion which envelopes the history of 


the period. Every prince is father-in-law, or son-in- 
law, or brother-in-law to every other. Moreover the 
names are limited in number, and Arsinoe, Alexander, 
Agathocles, Ptolemy are repeated with puzzling fre- 
quency. 1 

The family quarrel which upset the world arose in 
this wise. To seal the alliance after Ipsus, old king 
Ptolemy sent his daughter Arsinoe, to marry his rival 
and friend Lysimachus, who on his side had sent his 
daughter, another Arsinoe, in marriage to the younger 
Ptolemy (Philadelphus). This was the second son of 
the great Ptolemy, who had chosen him for the throne 
in preference to his eldest son, Keraunos, a man 
of violent and reckless character, who accordingly 
left the country, and went to seek his fortune at 
foreign courts. Meanwhile the old Ptolemy, for 
safety's sake, installed his second son as king of 
Egypt during his own life, and abdicated at the age 
of eighty-three, full of honours, nor did he leave the 
court, where he appeared as a subject before his son 
as king. Keraunos naturally visited, in the first 
instance, the Thracian court, where he not only had 
a half sister (Arsinoe) queen, but where his full 
sister Lysandra, was married to the crown prince, the 
gallant and popular Agathocles ; but Keraunos and 
the queen conspired against this prince ; they per- 
suaded old Lysimachus that he was a traitor, and so 
Keraunos was directed to put him to death. This 
crime caused unusual excitement and odium all 
through the country, and the relations and party of 

1 These recurring names are tabulated and their relations made plain 
at the end of the present volume. 


the murdered prince called on Seleucus to avenge 
him. He did so, and advanced with an army against 
Lysimachus, whom he defeated and slew in a great 
battle, somewhere not far from the field of Ipsus. It 
was called the plain of Coron (B.C. 281). Thus died 
the last but one of Alexander's Companions, at the 
age of eighty, he, too, in battle. Ptolemy was already 
laid in his peaceful grave (B.C. 283). 

There remained the last and greatest, the king of 
Asia, Seleucus. He, however, gave up all his Asiatic 
possessions from the Hellespont to the Indus to his 
son Antiochus, and meant to spend his last years 
in the home of his fathers, Macedonia ; but as he 
was entering that kingdom, he was murdered by 
Keraunos, whom he brought with him in his train. 
This bloodthirsty adventurer was thus left with an 
army which had no leader, in a kingdom which had 
no king, for Demetrius' son, Antigonus, the strongest 
claimant, had not yet made his good position. All the 
other kings, whose heads were full with their newly 
acquired sovranties, viz., Antiochus in Asia and 
Ptolemy II. in Egypt, joined with Keraunos in buying 
off the dangerous Pyrrhus, by bribes of men, money, 
and elephants, to make his expedition to Italy, and 
leave them to settle their affairs. 1 The Greek cities, 
as usual, when there was a change of sovran in 
Macedonia, rose and asserted what they were pleased 
to call their liberty, so preventing Antigonus from 
recovering his father's dominions. Meanwhile Kerau- 
nos established himself in Macedonia ; he even, like 

1 For an outline of the career of Pyrrhus in Italy, see " The Story of 
Rome," pp. 1 19-128. 



our Richard, induced the queen, his step-sister, his 
old accomplice against Agathocles, to marry him! 
but it was only to murder her children by Lysimachus, 
the only dangerous claimants to the Thracian pro- 
vinces. The wretched queen fled to Samothrace, 
and thence to Egypt, where she ended her guilty 
and chequered career as queen of her full brother 
Ptolemy II. (Philadcphus) and was deified during her 
life ! 

Such then was the state of Alexander's Empire in 
280 B.C. All the first Diadochi were dead, and so 
were even the sons of two of them, Demetrius and 
Aeathocles. The son of the former was a claimant 


for the throne of Macedonia, which he acquired 
after long and doubtful struggles. Antiochus, who 
had long been regent of the Eastern piovinces beyond 
Mesopotamia, had come suddenly, by his father's 
murder, into possession of so vast a kingdom, that he 
could not control the coast of Asia Minor, where 
sundry free cities and dynasts sought to establish 
themselves. Ptolemy II. was already king of Egypt, 
including the suzerainty of Cyrene, and had claims 
en Palestine and Syria. Ptolemy Keraunos, the 



double-dyed villain and murderer, was in possession 
of the throne of Macedonia, but at war with the 
claimant Antigonus. Pyrrhus of Epirus was gone to 
conquer a new kingdom in the West. Such was the 
state of things when a terrible new scourge broke 
over the world. 



IT is said that the invasion of the Celts or Gauls, 
who destroyed the Roman army at the Allia and cap- 
tured the city, 1 destroyed also all the ancient archives 
of the Republic, so that there was a complete break 
in the annals, which could only be filled up from 
memory and from oral tradition. In like manner the 
huge inroad of the Celts into Macedonia and Thrace 
(B.C. 278) makes the end of a period and the begin- 
ning of a new epoch. It nearly coincides with the 
death of the last great Diadochi ; it sweeps away the 
claims of the worst of the Epigoni, or second genera- 
tion, inasmuch as the first defender of Hellenism who 
met them in battle was Keraunos, whom they slew 
and annihilated his army. Their inroads into Greece 
and Asia Minor filled men's hearts with a new sort of 
terror, and not only breathed new heroism into them, 
but gave new inspiration to the sculptor and the poet, 
so that the art of Greece undergoes, if not a trans- 
formation, at least a revival from the " storm and 
stress " of the times. The Apollo Belvidere, the 

1 See "the Story of Rome," p. IOI, for some account of "tearful 
Allia," B.C. 390. 


Dying Gladiator (really a Gaul), the Great Altar lately 
exhumed at Pergamum, these and other masterpieces 
still tell us of the enthusiasm which inspired a splendid 
revival of sculpture. The tame and prosy Pausanias 1 
becomes quite poetical, when he tells the horrors 
of the invasion into Macedonia and Greece. He 
evidently used some poem, which described these 
thrilling events, in which there is a curious repetition 
of the details of the Persian invasion as told by 
Herodotus, the fight at Thermopylae, and defeat of 
the barbarians, the turning of the pass by treachery, 
the diversion to reach the treasures of Delphi, the 
great miracles with which the god protected his temple 
and brought dismay and ruin on the invaders. There 
are the most frightful narratives of the savage cruelty 
of the Galatae, their disregard of all the laws of 
civilized warfare — leaving their dead unburied, rifling 
every ancient tomb, slaying and ravishing, eating the 
children of the Greeks. Not Polyphemus or the 
Laestrygones in Homer were so terrible. There was 
the same attempt at confederation among the Greeks, 
the same selfishness and separatism to destroy it. 
But this time the important factors of the Greek army 
are no longer Athens and Sparta, though Athens still 
had the command from her old reputation, but /Etolia, 
which sent some ten thousand warriors to the fray, 
bore the brunt of the fighting, and carried off the 
chief share in the glory. The Galatns, as had been 
the case in Italy, could conquer in battle, but knew no 
other use of victory than aimless plunder and rapine ; 
after devastating all Macedonia and Thrace, they went 

1 Pausaunias x. 2d 59 


over to Asia, each state being anxious to pass them on 
to its neighbour, and moreover they were so ready to 
serve as mercenaries, that no army appears in those 
days without its contingent of Celtic troops, long 
regarded as almost invincible, had they not been ready 
to fight on both sides, and thus neutralize their power- 
It may be as well to sum up the remaining effects 
of their invasion, and their settlement in Galatia here, 
and so wind up one thread of the tangled skein which 
we are essaying to unravel. After the check at 
Delphi, which only destroyed a detachment, they 
fought a battle with Antigonus at Lysimacheia (277) 
in which the king was completely victorious, and 
raised his character so much as to open the way for 
his return to Macedonia. Strange to say, he forthwith 
hired a division of the barbarians to help him in this 
enterprise. Then Nicomedes, king of Bithynia, and 
the Greek cities of the Propontis, hired them to pro- 
tect themselves against their enemies, and so they 
came to settle in Galatia, under promise to occupy a 
fixed territory, but like all other barbarians, making 
constant raids for plunder, and becoming the terror of 
all Asia. Hence it was that both Antiochus L, son of 
Seleucus, made his mark, and obtained his title of 
Soter (Saviour) by a great victory over them, of which 
both date and place are unknown — after which they 
were surrounded by a series of Macedonian forts, and 
confined within their province. This victory was 
commemorated, like that of Assaye, on the colours of 
the English regiments engaged, by the figure of an 
elephant which we find on medals of Antiochus. A 
generation later (about 237) the same story is repeated 


in the case of Attalus of Pergamum, who defeats the 
Galatae, and is hailed with the title of king. The 
great outburst of artistic work at his capital is directly 
connected with this victory. Every great shrine in 
Greece was adorned with memorials of these victories. 
The barbarians thus checked at intervals did not 
however change their nature, and they were still the 
terror of surrounding peoples, till the Romans, under 
the Consul Manlius Vulso, immediately after the defeat 
of Antiochus the Great (B.C. 190) made a most wanton 
attack upon them, though they strove hard to avoid 
all cause of quarrel. Being then completely defeated 


by Roman arms, they became quiet members of the 
Roman Empire, and it is at Ancyra (Angora), their 
principal town, that the famous copy of Augustus' will 
known as the Monument of Ancyra has been found. 
When St. Paul preached among them, they seem fused 
into the Hellenistic world, speaking Greek like the rest 
of Asia ; yet the Celtic language long lingered among 
them, and St. Jerome says he found the country people 
still using it in his day (fourth cent. A.D.) 

Such, then, is the brief history of this violent foreign 
element, intruding itself into the Empire of Alexander, 
and at first threatening to overthrow all its civilization. 


Though causing frightful disorder and destruction, and 
introducing a certain savagery into warfare, which 
disgraced Hellenism down to the days of the last 
Philip, we cannot but feel that this invasion of outer 
barbarians, strange in features, in language, in religion, 
in customs, had a powerful influence in welding together 
the feelings and interests of all the Hellenistic world. 
People thought that even an Indian or an Ethiopian, 
if he spoke Greek and belonged to a civilized kingdom, 
was something radically different from these northern 
savages, who were held to have regard for neither 
gods nor men, neither age nor sex, neither oath nor 
promise, neither honour nor helplessness. It is no 
doubt to their conduct as mercenaries of the various 
petty tyrants who sprang up in those days, that we 
must ascribe the terrible reputation for cruelty which 
the tyrants acquired — a feature exhibited in a popular 
tragedy about Apollodorus, tyrant of Cassandreia in 
Thessaly, that Lycophron brought out at Alexandria, 
and which afforded a type for succeeding writers. 



AMONG those who claimed to succeed to Alex- 
ander's Empire, and who were at some moments 
thought to have no mean chance, was the Epirot 
king, Pyrrhus. He is one of the most interesting 
figures of the times, playing his part as well in Hel- 
lenistic history as in Roman, where to most of us he 
is familiar. We are fortunate in having from the 
inimitable pen of Plutarch a charming " Life " of the 
adventurous and chivalrous monarch. His marvellous 
escape from the enemies of his house when a mere 
infant forms the opening of Plutarch's narrative. 
He was brought to Glaucias the ^tolian, who set 
him up on his throne a boy of twelve years old. The 
marriage of his elder sister Deidamia to the brilliant 
Demetrius brought him into relation to that prince, 
who seems to have formed his notions, and trained 
him in splendour and culture. So he came as a 
hostage for Demetrius to the court of Ptolemy, where 
he so ingratiated himself with the queen, that she 
gave the youth of doubtful claims and fortunes her 
daughter Antigone in marriage. Thus he took rank 
among the great royal houses of the East, to which 
he added an alliance with the Sicilian Agathocles, 


the adventurer-king who sought to attain the same 
social position, by marrying his daughter Lanassa. 

The early years of his reign were spent alternately 
in putting down revolutions among his own ill- 
cemented states, and in struggling with both Demetrius 
and Lysimachus, presently with young Antigonus, for 
the sovereignty of Macedonia. All his wars with De- 
metrius did not destroy their old friendship, and he 
was one of those who begged hardest for the release 
of that king, when he fell at last into the hands of 
Seleucus, and into the captivity which brought on his 
death. At the time of the invasion of the Celts it 
suited all parties to get rid of this dangerous and 
impressible claimant for empire. He had become a 
general whom no one but old Lysimachus was able 
to defeat. The art of war was his absorbing study, 
and he rated all else as of no interest. So, then, he 
was furnished with supplies of men, elephants, and 
money by all his rivals and enemies, and invited to 
make himself an empire in the West. 

His adventures in Italy and Sicily belong to Roman 
history. His battles with the Romans opened his 
eyes to the real dangers to which the Empire of 
Alexander was exposed, and he called in vain to his 
supporters and relations to send him more aid for 
this struggle. Had he been adequately supported 
he would doubtless have checked the advance of 
Rome for a generation or two, perhaps for centuries ; 
but the Eastern kings were too busy with their own 
quarrels, and so he returned defeated, and burning 
with revenge for what he considered a betrayal. He 
had been seduced from conquering a kingdom in 


Greece and Macedonia by the promise of sufficient 
help to make a kingdom in Magna Graecia. He 
threw himself upon king Antigonus, who was, after 
the " Celtic fury," laboriously reconstructing Mace- 
donia and Greece into a kingdom. Always victor 
in battle against this king, whom he drove out a mere 
fugitive, he tried to conquer Sparta, and to subdue 
the Peloponnesus. No doubt his dreams were like 
those of Demetrius, to start again from Macedon and 
to conquer the whole Empire of Alexander. But his 
attack on the fortifications of Sparta was unsuccess- 
ful ; Antigonus, who ever recovered himself after 
defeat, like his grandfather Antigonus, collected an 
army, and they met at Argos. In the battle for the 
possession of that town, the Achilles of the day was 
killed by a tile thrown from a house-top by an old 
woman. So disappeared the last great obstacle to 
the settlement of the Hellenistic world. Pyrrhus, 
with all his kingly qualities, was really fit only for a 
captain of condottieri. He loved fighting for its own 
sake, and even in the art of war sacrificed larger aims 
for battles ; he was the greatest tactician of his day, 
but no strategist. He was opposed the first to the 
stubborn force of a nation determined to withstand to 
the uttermost, and on whom the loss of battles had 
little effect. Many defeats did not subdue them, 
while one defeat at Beneventum was his ruin in Italy- 
He then encountered a similar antagonist in Anti- 
gonus. Though defeated in almost every battle, this 
wily and able statesman recovered himself, and stood 
ready for the fray when he ought to have been a 
homeless exile or a subject. 


Pyrrhus was a meteor flashing through the sky of 
Hellenism— of baleful portent, but of no real influ- 
ence ; but he had discovered for himself, and shown 
to the whole world of Hellenism, that beyond all their 
petty quarrels for the balance of power lay another 
far greater problem — the question of supremacy 
between the East and the West. Fortunately for 
Hellenism, Carthage stept in, and with her great 
naval resources, her stubborn character, and the 
genius of the Barcide family stopped the decision of 
that question on the field of battle for a century — the 
century in which the successors of Alexander did for 
the world all that the genius of Hellenism was able 
to accomplish. This, the final stage of Alexander's 
Empire, we shall now attempt to describe. 




There were three great kingdoms — Macedonia, 
Egypt, Syria — which lasted, each under its own 
dynasty, till Rome swallowed them up. The first 
of these, which was the poorest, and the smallest, but 
historically the most important, included the ancestral 
possessions of Philip and Alexander — Macedonia, 
most of Thrace, Thessaly, the mountainous centre of 
the peninsula, as well as a protectorate more or less 
definite and absolute over Greece proper, the Cyclades, 
and certain tracts of Caria. Its strength lay in the 
fine timber forests it possessed, in its gold mines ; 
but far more in the martial character of its population, 
who were as superior as the modern English are to 
southern or Oriental peoples. 

Next came Egypt, including Cyrene and Cyprus, 
and a general protectorate over the sea-coast cities 
of Asia Minor up to the Black Sea, together with 
claims often asserted with success on Syria, and 
on the coast lands of Southern Asia Minor. Its 
strength lay in the compactness and unity, as well as 
the immense fertility of Egypt, its world traffic through 
Alexandria, and its consequent supremacy in the 
finances of the world. 


Thirdly came what was now called Syria, on account 
of the policy of the house of Seleucus, who built there 
its capital, and determined to make the Greek or 
Hellenistic end of its vast dominions its political 
centre of gravity. The kingdom of Syria owned the 
south and south-east of Asia Minor, Syria, and gene- 
rally Palestine, Mesopotamia, and the mountain 
provinces adjoining it on the East, with vague claims 
further east when there was no king like Sandracottus 
to hold India and the Punjaub with a strong hand. 
There was still a large element of Hellenism in these 
remote parts. The kingdom of Bactria was ruled by 
a dynasty of kings with Greek names — Euthydemus 
is the chief — who coined in Greek style, and must 
therefore have regarded themselves as successors to 

There are many exceptions and limitations to this 
general description, and many secondary and semi- 
independent kingdoms, which make the picture of 
Hellenism infinitely various and complicated. There 
was, in fact, a chain of independent kingdoms reaching 
from Media to Sparta, all of which asserted their 
complete freedom, and generally attained it by 
balancing the great powers one against the other. 
Here they are in their order. Atropatene was the 
kingdom formed in the northern and western parts 
of the province of Media, by Atropates, the satrap of 
Alexander, who claimed descent from the seven Per- 
sian chiefs who put Darius I. on the throne. Next 
came Armenia, hardly conquered by Alexander, and 
now established under a dynasty of its own. Then 
Cappadocia, the land in the heart of Asia Minor, 


where it narrows between Cilicia and Pontus, ruled 
by sovereigns also claiming royal Persian descent, 
and with Armenia, barring out all Asia Minor from 
the Seleucids except by way of the southern coast. 
Fourthly, Pontus, under its equally Persian dynast 
Mithridates — a kingdom which makes a great figure 
in Eastern history under the later Roman Republic. 
There was moreover a dynast of Bithynia, set up and 
supported by the robber state of the Celtic Galatians, 
which had just been founded, and was a source of 
strength and of danger to all its neighbours. Then 
Pergamum, just being founded and strengthened by 
the first Attalid, Philetaerus, an officer of Lysimachus, 
and presently to become one of the leading exponents 
of Hellenism. Its principal danger lay from the 
Galatians, not only of Asia, but from those settled 
in Thrace, in what was called the kingdom of Tylis, 
their mountain fortress. This dominion reached as 
far as the Strymon. Almost all these second-rate 
states (and with them the free Greek cities of Hera- 
cleia, Cyzicus, Byzantium, &c.) were fragments of the 
shattered kingdom of Lysimachus, whom Seleucus 
had killed in battle, but whose possessions he was 
unable to organize before his own murder by Kerau- 
nos, who again had neither the genius nor the leisure 
to undertake it. 

Let us proceed with our list of fragments. If 
Thessaly, Bceotia, Attica, all sought to assert their 
freedom from Macedonia, and were consequently to 
be handled either with repression or persuasion by 
Antigonus, the Alpine confederation of the moun- 
taineer vEtolians was distinctly independent, and a 


power to be reckoned with. So was the kingdom of 
Epirus after its sudden rise of glory under Pyrrhus. 
In Peloponnesus, the Achaean League was beginning 
to assert itself, but Sparta was still really independent, 
though poor and insignificant, and depending on 
Egyptian money and fleets to make any active oppo- 
sition to the encroachments of Macedon. The other 
cities or tribes, Argos, Arcadia, Elis, Messenia, are far 
too insignificant to count in this enumeration of the 
world's array, but they were like all other Greek cities 
and states, poor, proud, and pretentious, and very 
perilous to depend upon for loyal support. 

So far we have taken no account of a very peculiar 
feature extending all through even the Greek kingdoms, 
especially that of the Selucids — the number of large 
Hellenistic cities founded as special centres of culture, 
or points of defence, and organized as such with a 
certain local independence. These cities, most of 
which we only know by name, were the real backbone 
of Hellenism in the world. Alexander had founded 
seventy of them, all called by his name. Many were 
upon great trade lines, like the Alexandria which still 
exists. Many were intended as garrison towns in the 
centre of remote provinces, like Candahar — a corrup- 
tion of Iskanderieh, Iskendar being the Oriental form 
for Alexander. Some were mere outposts, where 
Macedonian soldier were forced to settle, and guard 
the frontiers against the barbarians, like the Alexandria 
on the Iaxartes. His immediate successors, the 
Diadochi or SiaBs^d/xsifoi, as Greek historians call 
them,followed his example closely,even to the puzzling 
practice of calling numbers of towns by the same 


name. There were a number of Antigoneias, of 
Antiochs, of Ptolemaises, besides a Cassandreia, a 
Lysimacheia, a Demetrias or two, and a number of 
Seleuceias. 1 As regards Seleucus indeed we have 
a remarkable statement from Appian that he founded 
cities through the length and breadth of his king- 
dom, viz., sixteen Antiochs called after his father, 
five Laodiceas after his mother, nine Seleucias after 
himself, three Apameias and one Stratoniceia after 
his wives. Other towns he called after Greek and 
Macedonian towns, or after some deed of his own, or 
named it in Alexander's honour. Hence all through 
Syria, and Upper Asia there are many towns bearing 
Greek and Macedonian names — Berea, Edessa, Perin- 
thos, Achaea, Pella, &c. 

The number of these, which have been enumerated 
in a special catalogue by Droysen, 2 the learned his- 
torian of Hellenism, is enormous, and the first ques- 
tion which arises in our minds is this : where were 
Greek-speaking people found to fill them ? It is 
indeed true that Greece proper about this time became 
depopulated, and that it never has recovered from this 
decay — it is only in our own day that the population 
is increasing again, and promising to become consider - 

1 These towns were all written with eia, viz., Alexandreia, Seleuceia, 
Antiocheia, &c. ; but as they were pronounced with the accent on the 
antepenult, the Romans wrote Alexandria, Seleiicia, which really repre- 
sents the pronunciation, provided we read the c as k, and pronounce the 
ei as ee. Antioch is known in that form since our English Bible so 
rendered it. 

2 It is true that Grote refuses his faith in this long list, for reasons 
given in a note to the xcivth chapter of his history, though he still believes 
the number to have been not inconsiderable, 


able. A great deal of this depopulation was caused 
by what may be called internal causes, constant wars, 
pestilence, and the habit among young men of living 
abroad as mercenaries. Yet even if all this had not 
been the case, the whole population of Greece would 
never have sufficed for one tithe of the cities — the 
great cities — founded all over Asia by the Diadochi. 
We are therefore driven to the conclusion that but a 
small fraction, the soldiers and officials of the new 
cities, were Greeks — Macedonians, when founded by 
Alexander himself — generally broken down veterans, 
mutinous and discontented troops, and camp followers. 
To these were associated people from the surrounding 
country, it being Alexander's fixed idea to discounte- 
nance sporadic country life in villages and encourage 
town communities. The towns accordingly received 
considerable privileges, not only territory, but the right 
of meeting in assembly, of managing their own courts, 
taxes, &c, subject to certain military and fiscal dues 
to the Empire. The Greek language and political 
habits were thus the one bond of union among them, 
and the extraordinary colonizing genius of the Greek 
once more proved itself. It was not Alexander's 
notion, or that of his successors, to found colonies of 
this kind for the relief of, or the profit of, any mother- 
country ; these people, though some of them in Bactria 
essayed it, when they heard of Alexander's death, 
were not to return home to Macedonia or Greece when 
they had realized some money ; they were to become 
the population of the Empire, one in language, and to 
some extent in habits, but only gradually becoming 
uniform by intermarriage, by the same military system, 


and by the spread of Greek letters and culture. The 
cities were all built — at least all the important ones — 
on a fixed plan, with two great thoroughfares at right 
angles, intersecting in the centre of the town, the 
lesser streets being all parallel to these thoroughfares, 
as is somewhat the case in Philadelphia (U.S.A.). 
They all had special shrines or memorials of the 
founder. Most of them had no doubt, like Alexandria, 
low quarters for the Aborigines and a fashionable or 
strong quarter for the " Macedonians," as they liked 
to call themselves, or Greeks, as the subjects gene- 
rally called them. 

Whenever a monarch had his residence in one of 
them, there was the state and luxury of a royal court, 
with all its etiquette, its loids-in-waiting, pages, 
chamberlains, uniforms, and whatever other circum- 
stance could be copied from the court of the great 
model Alexander, or of his wealthiest successors. 
There was also a display of art, statues set up in 
bronze or marble ; pictures exhibited, much handsome 
building in the way of temples, halls, and porticoes. We 
may be sure that theatres and games were universal, 
and so Euripides and Menander attained an audience 
and an influence extending all over the empire. We 
shall return to the critical estimate of this literature 
and this art in due time, when we have reached further 
into the history of the century of its greatness, but 
this is the place to describe the deeper thoughts which 
occupied the men who had lived through the wars and 
tumults, the distresses and disillusions, the splendour 
and miseries of the Forty-five Years' War. 



There had been a long and noble stream of philoso- 
phers in the Greek world ever since the sixth century 
B.C. They flourished in Asia Minor first, where the 
wealth and culture were the greatest, then in Sicily, 
Italy, all over the Greek world, as itinerant sophists, 
in a monastic association under Pythagoras at Croton, 
finally, when Athens became the centre of the civilized 
world, in the schools of that city. Plato, in the earlier 
half of the fourth century, had summed up in his 
famous dialogues all that had been thought out by his 
masters, and left behind him suggestions of almost all 
the systems which have succeeded him to the present 
day. His conversations on philosophy did not form a 
clear or easily-grasped system, and were interpene- 
trated with a mystical element, as the vulgar would 
call it, — not mystical in the religious, so much as in 
the speculative sense, making the unseen and imper- 
ceptible the eternal and most real, and substituting 
for the facts given to the senses the speculation of the 
intellect. His philosophy ■ was transcendental, as 
being above the crowd, incomprehensible to the 
vulgar, and therefore not applicable to the wants of 

Plato and aristotle. gy 

ordinary life. It was a theory for the cloister and 
the schools, not for the highways and thoroughfares 
of life. The school or Academy which Plato founded 
at Athens, thus giving a word for that kind of thing 
to all modern languages, was essentially a place of 
retirement, like an Oxford College, from which people 
went into the world as theorists, not as practical men. 

Very much the same criticism may be made, for 
somewhat different reasons, on the rival school of 
Aristotle. He saw indeed, that we must not substi- 
tute speculation for experience, that we must first 
collect all the facts of life before we can venture upon 
a theory, but his training in speculation was too strong 
to allow him to become a mere empiric. Not only 
did his philosophy require encyclopaedic research, 
and an amount of study quite incompatible with life 
duties, but when all this is done, and we come to his 
Metaphysics, we find him just as transcendental and 
difficult as Plato. He is not the least like Locke or 
Mill, a mere analyser and observer of our experience. 
He was no man of the world. Though he had 
extended his collection of facts to the cataloguing of 
all the known political constitutions of the civilized 
nations — he had found, at least, one hundred and fifty 
of them — not one word in his famous Politics, where 
he gives the analysis of this experience, leads us to 
think that he foresaw, or understood, the great problem 
of Hellenism solved by his pupil Alexander. To him, 
barbarians, however civilized, were a thing distinct 
from Greeks, however rude. 

In one point only, perhaps, he and Plato had led 
the way to the new state of things. Without ventur- 


ing to claim openly for monarchy its pre-eminence, 
both of them distinctly preached against democracy 
in the form known to the Greeks — that is to say, a 
manhood suffrage of free men, in small states, where 
this minority ruled over an immense number of slaves 
and strangers. The smaller such a democracy is, the 
more open and brutal will be the jobs, the injustices, 
the insolences it will commit as regards the minority 
of the rich, and the unprivileged. Schemes of 
ambition and of plunder are not brought before the 
large tribunal of a nation, but settled with the bitter- 
ness of personal hatreds, and the incitement of per- 
sonal profit by those immediately interested. All 
this the philosophers saw, but the only remedy which 
their pupils adopted, when they entered into politics, 
was that of a self-assumed monarchy based on superior 
knowledge ; and this form of government, known as 
tyranny among the Greeks, was so violently opposed 
to Hellenic feeling that whoever adopted or supported 
it was considered a public enemy, and the killing of 
him the greatest public duty. So then the philoso- 
phers were out of tune with the public ; Plato and 
Aristotle, kings of thought, had no influence on the 
politics of their day. Moreover, they and their fol- 
lowers were either religious sceptics, or held religious 
views not reconcilable by ordinary men with the 
current creeds. They, and the lesser teachers who 
tried to rival and imitate them, taught free-thinking 
in its strictest sense, and what religion as ever been 
able to accept such a mental attitude as conformable 
to orthodoxy ? 

Then came the great commotion of the world by 


Alexander, the extension of Greek manners and cul- 
ture, the superseding of Greek democracies by a large 
and tolerant monarchy, based upon such superior 
force as made its justice, in those days, indisputable. 
The great single man had indeed arisen, of whom the 
philosophers had dreamt, and said that if the most 
worthy could be found, he should by natural right 
rule over mankind. But this king was not a pupil of 
Aristotle in the technical sense, though he was so 
actually. He never could be claimed by any of the 
Athenian schools, as a Platonist, an Aristotelian, or 
the like, for he was not a student from an academy, 
but a great practical thinker, brought up in contact 
with courts and kings and public affairs. We may be 
sure that he despised tne analysis of the one hundred 
and fifty petty polities by his master. We know that 
he rejected his advice as antiquated, of treating bar- 
barians — that is to say, long civilized Orientals — on a 
different footing from Greeks. 

Alexander then justified, but completely modified, 
the idea of monarchy. To the Greek cities it was 
monarchy from without, not the assumption of that 
authority from within each state. So it obviated the 
resistance of that ingrained feeling of jealousy in the 
Greek mind, which would even now protest with equal 
vehemence against any native Greek being made 
ruler over his fellows. 

But then came the desolating Forty-five Years' War 
when men were made keenly alive to the miseries of 
this mortal life. No care, no prudence, no diligence, 
no policy could save men from the catastrophes which 
accompany the shock of empires. Theories were of 


no avail. Force, or astuteness in meeting force with 
some counteracting force, that is diplomacy, opportun- 
ism, these were the springs of action, and the elements 
which determined ordinary life and happiness. How 
is it, then, that under these terrible circumstances, 
when all theories of life seemed to break down, 
the once despised and suspected philosophers come 
into strange public importance ? If an important 
embassy is to be sent to a hostile monarch threaten- 
ing invasion, it is to Xenocrates of the Academy, a 
man never seen in the assembly, that they entrust it. 
If Antigonus wants a safe officer to hold the Acro- 
corinthus, the key of the Peloponnesus, he chooses 
Persaeus the Stoic. When Alexander, in his despair 
at the murder of Clitus, sits in dust and ashes, and 
will not eat or drink, they send two philosophers to 
bring him to reason. All over Greece the men whose 
lives are devoted to speculation are now regarded as 
venerable and influential advisers, as peace-makers 
and politicians above the ordinary level, as the honour 
and pride of the cities where they choose to dwell. 
Kings and satraps court their company. Pupils note 
down and publish their table-talk. How did this 
revolution come about ? 

The Forty- five Years War saw the birth of three 
new systems of philosophy, which were intended, not 
only for the closet and the market-place, but for the 
comfort of men and women removed from public 
affairs and concerned only with private life. Two of 
them, possessing a positive body of doctrine, and 
being taught by very eminent men, have very distinct 
titles — Epicureanism and Stoicism. The third was 


Scepticism, not so general, not so satisfying to the 
public mind, but still of the last importance in destroy- 
ing the remains of old creeds, and in leading the way 
to something deeper and better. But its teachers — 
Pyrrho of Elis, Aristo of Chios, and Timon of Phlius 
— founded no fixed or permanent school. It was only 
after two or three generations that the successors of 
Plato, the so-called New Academy, arrived at similar 
conclusions, and taught them through Arcesilaus and 
Carneades, even at Rome. 1 The Philosophies of 
Epicurus, and of Zeno, the founder of the Stoics, were 
essentially practical systems ; not that they refused 
speculation, but that they set forth ethics and the 
laws of moral action as the main end, and their 
speculation was of the dogmatic kind, the master 
stating his views on higher philosophy, and the pupil 
adopting them as the decision of a greater man. 
Happiness, not knowledge, was the object of these 
schools. Happiness, too, they were agreed, must be with- 
in reach of the sage, by reason of himself, and indepen- 
dent of catastrophes from without. The only question 
between them was the proper method of obtaining it. 
Epicurus, a native Athenian, who settled in middle 
life at Athens, where he left his house and gardens 
as an heirloom and foundation for his followers, held 
that as every man must pursue happiness, as an end, 
he is always in the pursuit of pleasure. How can 
most pleasure be obtained ? Is it by gratifying the 
passions ? by disregarding the pleasure of others ? by 
satisfying every desire as it arises ? By no means. 
There are pleasures and pleasures — some of the body, 

1 See "The Story of Rome," page 319. 


violent, short-lived, productive of after pain ; others 
of the mind, quieter but lasting, with no sting behind- 
The sage will balance these carefully, he will postpone 
the worse for the better, he will cultivate love and 
friendship for his own sake ; philosophy, therefore, 
and virtue consists in this long-sighted prudence, which 
contents itself with moderate and safe enjoyment, and 
finds happiness in contemplation, in memory, in friend- 
ship, even when physical pain and poverty cloud the 
latter days. Above all, it removes the fear of here- 
after by abolishing anything like Providence. Epi- 
curus believed only in what was given by the senses. 
Dreams and visions, speculations, transcendental 
theories are all nonsense. If there are gods, they care 
not in the least for mortal men, and never interfere in 
their affairs. Death is the end of all things, and the 
only immortality consists in the memory of friends 
and followers, who treasure the wise man and com- 
memorate his virtues. 

If the reader will enter more fully into this system, 
let him refer either to the great poem of Lucretius, on 
the Nature of tilings, or to Mr. Walter Pater's Marias 
the Epicurean, where all the higher side of this system, 
as understood by refined minds, is presented with rare 
grace and eloquence. It is a delicate and studied 
science of living, and has found response in all ad- 
vanced and thoughtful human societies. 

If there are in every age Epicureans, who despise 
high speculation, and pursue culture from a utilitarian 
point of view, there are also in every age people of 
sterner stuff, who take a different line of thinking, and 
lead apparently the same life from very different 


principles. These are the Stoics. Zeno, and his fol- 
lowers, Cleanthes and Chrysippus, taught in the 
frescoed colonnade called the coloured Stoa at Athens, 
and though the school were at first called Zenonians, 
the importance of the other two masters was so great, 
that the title, Men of the Porch, or Portico — Stoics — 
prevailed. These men, far from being mere Em- 
pirists, believing only in the data of the senses, be- 
lieved in the gods as manifestations of one great 
Divine Providence, ordering human affairs, and pre- 
scribing to man the part he should play in the world, 
by conforming his conduct to that of the world's 
Ruler. If happiness was indeed his object, it was to 
be obtained, not by direct pursuit, but by performing 
duty, by doing what was right, as such, without regard 
to consequences, by asserting the dignity and royalty 
of the wise man over all the buffets of fortune. He 
who thus co-operated with Divine Providence might 
be a slave, a prisoner, in misery, in torture, yet he was 
really free, wealthy, royal, supreme. His judgment 
was infallible, his happiness secure. To use a modern 
phrase for the same kind of theory, he had found 

Both schools held that there was no longer Jew or 
Gentile, Greek or Barbarian, bond or free ; they were 
essentially cosmopolitan, and were thus, unlike the 
earlier systems of Plato or Aristotle, fit for all the 
world that spoke Greek, beyond the pure descendants 
of Hellen. Still there were shades of difference in 
that respect. The teaching of Epicurus, as it was that 
of a pure Athenian, so it^vas essentially one suited to 
the pleasure-loving, refined, selfish Greek intellect 


while the sterner school of Zeno, taught by a stranger 
from Cyprus, and continued by foreigners, chiefly 
from the South-eastern Levant, was of a severe, semi- 
Oriental aspect, which found disciples among those 
outside Hellenists, who had gloomier views of human 
life and prospects. It is remarkable that very few 
pure Greeks were noted as Stoics. They came mostly 
from Cilicia, where Tarsus had long a pre-eminence 
in that way of thinking, as any one may know who 
studies the Stoic colour of St. Paul's mind ; they were 
the fashion in Pergamum, in Macedonia with King 
Antigonus, by and by came their conquest of Rome, 
where that philosophy at last ascended the imperial 
throne with M. Aurelius ; and it is remarkable that 
though they taught the wise man's complete indepen- 
dence of all the world, and his contempt for human 
politics, carried on by fools, as they called the unre- 
generate, they were quite ready to theorize for the 
vulgar, to direct public affairs, when the occasion 
arose ; and as they acted upon pure principle, apart 
from love, or hate, or personal interest, they became 
at times the most dangerous and desperate of irrecon- 
cileables. Such were the advisers of King Cleomenes 
of Sparta, whom we shall meet again, of the Gracchi, 
at Rome, and such was the Brutus who figures so 
sadly in the tragedy of Julius Caesar. 

If the Stoics were not always Quietists, this was 
strictly the case with the Epicureans and the Sceptics, 
who taught that all meddling in politics was only the 
cause of disturbance and annoyance to the wise man, 
and should be avoided as an evil. Thus they withdrew 
from public life, and brought with them many able 


and thoughtful men, who ought to have produced 
their effect in moderating party struggles, and in ad- 
vising forbearance and humanity. Accordingly, the 
active effects of philosophy were to start theorists 
upon the world, theorists who believed in, and justified, 
the rule of the one superior man, and so vindicated 
the claims of absolute monarchy ; the passive effects 
were to draw away from public affairs the timid, the 
cautious, the sensitive, and turn them to the pursuit 
of private happiness. 

I have said nothing as yet of the schools of Plato 
and Aristotle, both of which subsisted at Athens 
beside the Stoics and Epicureans, and which were 
known as the Academy and the Peripatetic School (so 
called, as has been hinted, from the TrepiiraTo^, or public 
garden, where Aristotle taught). They were still re- 
presented by eminently learned and worthy men, and 
in the earlier part of the period we have reviewed, 
when Demetrius Phalereus was governor of Athens 
(B.C. 317-307), Theophrastus, the Peripatetic Chief, 
was in the highest fashion. We find, too, the heads 
of both schools holding a position like the Christian 
bishops in the Middle Ages, devoted to their special 
work, and summoned from it to lead the city when 
some great danger or crisis was at hand, as ambassa- 
dors or as advisers of peace. All the heads of schools, 
except the Epicureans, attained this position, if they 
had long and honourably presided over their followers 
— Xenocrates, Menedemus of Eretria, Zeno.and others ; 
and so we have the spectacle oft-repeated of ordinary 
and vulgar people, swayed by ignoble and selfish 
motives, yet honouring from afar those who lived a 


purer and more austere life. If the Epicureans never 
attained this position, it was not only because their 
systematic Quietism would have refused to interfere 
in public affairs on any conditions, but because their 
doctrine suffered from the obvious travesty to which 
the pursuit of pleasure, as a principle of human life, is 
exposed. Cooks and courtesans, gluttons and de- 
bauchees, could profess, not without some show of 
reason, that they were disciples of Epicurus. 

This, then, was the serious side of Hellenistic life 
at the opening cf its golden age ; this was its estab- 
lished clergy, its higher teaching ; this was the 
spiritual outcome of that generation of aimless and 
immoral wars, which exhausted the whole life of the 
Diadochi. But, here, as in after days, when philo- 
sophy became a religion among the Greeks, and 
established itself with what I will venture to call a 
professional clergy, there comes the wide rift between 
laity and clergy, and much greed, sensuality, and 
cruelty, amon^ the former, combined with a profound 
respect for the opposite qualities in the latter. The 
philosophic ideas which dominated it were all born 
at the very opening of the great wars : while ambitious 
satraps were disputing the possession of the empire, 
and men's hearts were wasting with the weariness of 
endless and aimless wars, great minds had found 
peace and comfort where alone it can be found — 
in the calm of a good conscience, and the content- 
ment of a quiet and sober life. As a curious contrast 
to this serious development of philosophic life, of 
which Athens was the first home and centre, we find 
at Athens, too, a curiously frivolous and shallow 


society, manifested, not only in the shameful public 
flatteries and political degradations which we see 
reflected in Plutarch's Lives of Phocion and Demetrius, 
but in the fashionable comedy of the day. This, the 
so-called New Comedy of Diphilus, Philemon, Menan- 
der, and many other poets, outlasted other forms of 
poetry, and was even transferred to Alexandria, as 
the amusement of the higher classes. As regards 
style, Menander and his fellows deserve all the praise 
they have received, but when the ancient critics go 
into ecstasies at the perfect pictures of life and charac- 
ter upon his stage, we can only say that it is well we 
have the Stoics and their rivals in the schools to give 
the lie to any such pictures as an honests account of 
all Attic life. The society of the New Comedy is 
uniformly a shallow, idle, mostly immoral society, in 
which strictness and honesty are often ridiculed as 
country virtues, and immoral characters represented 
as the people who understand life. The young scape- 
grace, who lives in debauchery and dishonour, cheat- 
ing his father, and squandering his substance in 
riotous living, has the sympathy of the poet. The 
lady of easy virtue, who upsets the peace of homes, 
is often the heroine, and sometimes even (as we may 
see in Plautus) the guardian angel, who sets things 
right in the end of the play. Worse even than im- 
moral young men are immoral old men, who are not 
ashamed to be seen by their own sons joining in 
the disgraces for which youth is the only palliation. 
Respectable women, if heiresses, are always disagree- 
able, trusty slaves almost always dishonest ; no one 
has one thought for the nobler side of life, for the 


great interests which then engrossed courts and 
cloisters. The only virtues admired in these plays 
are good temper, forbearance, gentle scepticism, and 
readiness to forgive the sins and follies of youth. 
These are the general features we find reiterated with 
wearisome sameness in our Latin copies of the New 
Comedy — inferior, no doubt, to the originals in grace 
and style, omitting, no doubt, many delicate traits, 
but giving us, in Terence at least, an adequate notion 
of the social and moral aspects in which the poets 
found it desirable to represent good society at Athens. 
The composition of these plays, and the performance 
of them, lasted for some generations after the literary 
decay of Athens, and yet we do not find that even 
the growth of the great schools, and the importance 
of the great ethical teachers afforded them a single 
character or a single scene. They never pourtrayed 
a great man ; they were bound to their wretched 
commonplaces about the shallowest and meanest 
Athenian life. 



The third century B.C., the golden age of Hellenism, 
is marked out in stages curiously distinct, considering 
the number of empires and of sovereigns concerned 
Nay, even Roman affairs, which now come to exercise 
their influence on the East, conform to the same 
curious coincidence of coincidences. The deaths of 
the last Companions of Alexander — Ptolemy, Lysi- 
machus, Seleucus, the invasion of the Galatae — and the 


outbreak of the conflict between the Greeks of the 
West and Rome — all these things happening close 
around B.C. 280 make at the moment of a great crisis, 
not settled by war or succession till near B.C. 270, at 
which time the age of Hellenism has well begun. 
From this time for half a century, the relations of 
the East, and indeed of the West, are fully determined. 


A short chronological table will best illustrate what 
this means : 

« o t« 

> W3 H 

KH ° 








> « 

B. cs 


S 3 * M « 

























a a 3 

,C 3 tJ 

E w **3 

w O >-< M -2 > 

s # a* s. _ s £ 

o < £ -s 5 a ? 

C4 o 


At this last momentous time 222-220 B.C., three boys, 
all of them under twenty, succeeded to the three 
thrones of the East. They lived to be conquered by 
the Romans, as were Philip and Antiochus, or to 
solicit their suzerainty, as did Ptolemy. But this is 
the subsequent stage of Hellenism, which Polybius 
describes. We are now concerned with the two epochs : 
279-245, during which time the three thrones were 
in possession of great monarchs, Syria supplying two 
for one in each of the rest ; and then the period 245- 
220, when again, Egypt is under one vigorous king, 
while Macedonia and Syria are each represented by 
two. Even the lesser, but very important kingdom of 
Pergamum changes hands almost simultaneously with 
Syria (263, 241), then comes the long reign of Attalus 
I., which outlasts the crisis of 221, and reaches into 
the following century. 

This general correspondence naturally brings some 
kind of system into the otherwise most complicated 
history of the time, for all these kingdoms, from the 
very causes of their origin, were perpetually connec- 
ted by commerce, diplomacy, alliance, if not locked 
in still closer embrace by struggles for the supremacy, 
or for a redressing of the balance of power. These 
struggles were not only carried on directly, as for 
example, in the so-called Syrian Wars, or campaigns 
of the Ptolemies against the Seleucidae, generally 
fought out in Palestine, but indirectly, by setting on 
Greece against Macedonia, Cyrene against Egypt, the 
lesser states of Asia Minor against Syria — every king 
having constant trouble with these insurrections 
fomented by his rivals. The policy of the island 



cities under Rhodes, and of the king of Pergamum, 
was that of a strongly armed neutrality. All this 
time the Romans were so occupied with the alarm, 
the strain, the exhaustion of their great struggles 
with Carthage, that they were unable to do more than 
secure their supremacy over Hellenism in Italy and 
Sicily. It was not till they had come successfully out 
of the great crisis with Hannibal that they awoke to 
vast ideas of universal empire, and took the occasion 
of Philip's interference in the second Punic War, to 
stretch out their hands, not for safety, but for dominion 
across the Adriatic. This opens the last act of in- 
dependent Hellenism. 

It is plain enough from this sketch, that in a short 
book it would be very confusing, nay impossible, to 
give all the facts, the lesser wars, the conflicts of 
diplomacy, among these many kingdoms. The reader 
must permit a selection to be made for him of what 
was really important, as showing the character of the 
age, or in its effects upon the general tide of human 




Antigonus Gonatas 1 was king from B.C. 277- 
239, but claiming the sovereignty of Macedonia both 
through his father, Demetrius Poliorcetes, and his 
mother, Phila, daughter of Antipater. He had made 
every effort since the death of his father, imprisoned 
by Seleucus in Syria, to obtain what he considered his 
lawful heritage. During his youth he had not only 
had the advantage of a noble and spirited mother, to 
whom he owed, no doubt, the deeper traits of his 
character, but he had spent much time in Athens 
among the philosophers, while his father was wandering 
in wars and adventures through the Hellenistic world. 
Hence many anecdotes, preserved in the lives of the 
philosophers, attest his devotion to serious study, and 
his friendship with men of learning and character, 
especially Stoics. His devotion to his father was abso- 
lute. He offered himself as a prisoner in his father's 
stead, and when the latter died, brought him with 

1 He is said to have been so called because he was brought up at an 
obscure place called Goni, in Thessaly. 


great grief and pomp to Corinth, to be buried in the 
City of Demetrias. Then he claimed the throne of 
Macedonia, but with little effect against Lysimachus 
and Pyrrhus, both superior generals. Italy relieved 
him for a time of Pyrrhus, whom he even helped with 
ships ; the battle of Corupcd on of Lysimachus ; 
but against old Seleucus he had no chance. When 
the veteran was murdered, Antigonus was at war with 
Ptolemy Keraunos, the murderer, who had the advan- 
tage of a great army ready at hand, when he succeeded 
to the place of his victim. But the invasion of the 
Galatae overshadowed all other differences, and when 
Keraunos was killed by them, it was Antigonus' chief 
anxiety to defeat them, and so earn the throne of 

This was his first great victory. Then, in settling 
Macedon, he came in contact with the hideous tyrant 
Apollodorus, of Cassandreia (in Thessaly), whom he 
subdued with trouble and by strategem. This gave 
him a new claim on the gratitude of the northern 
Greeks ; but presently Pyrrhus, who had in vain begged 
him for help against the Romans, when his first suc- 
cesses had shown him the arduous nature of the enter- 
prise, came back from the west to assert a kingdom 
in Hellas and Macedonia, which he had been unable 
to conquer in Italy. Antigonus now lost his kingdom 
again, and was driven out by Pyrrhus, but with the 
aid of a fleet and of many Greek friends, kept up 
the struggle, till Pyrrhus was killed by an old 
woman with a tile from the roof of a house, while 
he was fighting in the streets of Argos. This time 
Antigonus became finally master of Macedonia, for 


though we hear that once again, while he was at war 
with Athens, he lost his kingdom to Alexander, king 
of Epirus, his son recovered it so quickly by a second 
battle, that this strange and obscure episode need 
hardly been taken into account. 

For more than thirty years then, he was one of the 
leading sovereigns of the empire, keeping a learned 
and refined court at Pella, cultivating Stoic philosophy 
and science, but at the same time having his hands 
full of complex policy. After a preliminary war with 
Antiochus, he made with this king a permanent peace, 
not only owing to the alliance with him by marrying 
his sister Phila — Antiochus' wife Stratonice was already 
a bond of that kind, being Antigonus' sister — but be- 
cause Antiochus was obliged to permit several inter- 
mediate kingdoms, as well as the coast and island 
Greeks, to assert their liberty. Of this anon. Anti- 
gonus' main struggles were with Ptolemy, and were 
carried on by each in the country of the other, by 
fomenting revolts, and supporting them with money 
and with ships. Thus Ptolemy was always urging the 
Greeks to claim their liberty ; he even figures in in- 
scriptions of the times as their generalissimo, and he 
produced at least one great coalition against Antigonus, 
headed by Athens — the so called Chremonidean war. 
On the other hand, Antigonus had a hold upon Caria>- 
from which he could threaten Egypt directly ; and he 
sent his brother Demetrius (the Fair) to Cyrene, pro- 
ducing an important and effectual revolt against 
Egypt. The Chremonidean war he seems to have 
settled, first by defeating the Spartans, whose king, 
Areus, fell in the battle at Corinth, to which they had 


advanced in the hope of raising the siege of Athens ; 
next by a great naval victory at Cos, in which the 
Egyptian fleet of relief was destroyed, and owing to 
which Athens was obliged to surrender (B.C. 266). 

From that time onward, Antigonus had to contend 
with no further active interference from Philadelphus ; 
though the relations of the two kingdoms were always 
strained, and their interests at variance. 

The difficulties he had with Greece were more seri- 
ous, because the intrigues of Ptolemy fell in with the 
spirit of the nation, and even with its noblest aspira- 
tions. The grave and solid system of the Stoics did 
not serve Antigonus only, as a rule of life, it seems to 
have affected the tone of Athens just as the eloquence 
of Demosthenes affected it towards the close of the 
struggle with Philip. Men became serious about 
politics and fought for conscience' sake. These stoical 
people often opposed Antigonus on principle, and were 
not the least satisfied with the result of a battle ; their 
opposition was irreconcilable. Still more serious was 
the rise of the Federal principle in ^Etolia and Achaia, 
which brought together democracies of towns into 
democracies of states, and so created powers able to 
contend with the power of Macedonia. Antigonus 
strove all his life against these difficulties by estab- 
lishing garrisons in strong places, such as Corinth, by 
isolating the petty states, and hence, by putting into 
them tyrants, devoted to his interests. These tyrants 
were not all high-minded Stoics, like their master, and 
committed many injustices and outrages. Hence the 
popular sentiment could easily be roused against the 


Thus the theory that Macedonia should lead Greece 
while each state was left free to manage its own affairs, 
was met by the theory that a Federal Council of the 
states themselves could do it better. There was also 
towards the close of Antigonus' life that remarkable 
revival of Sparta under Agis, on the theory that a 
reformed royalty at Sparta was the natural head of 
the Peloponnesians. These things will be considered 

All together they tended to weaken the king's posi- 
tion, and render it very difficult. His first duty was 
to make in Macedonia a strong bulwark against 
northern barbarism, and this he did effectually ; but 
whether his action on Greece was equally good may 
be fairly doubted. As things turned out, we feel that 
the Greeks were unfit to manage their own affairs, and 
yet the history of the Achaean League is among the 
most honourable passages in Greek history. Anti- 
gonus was fain in the end to recognize its power, and 
made peace with Aratus. The diversion he had pro- 
duced in Cyrene had also turned out badly. Deme- 
trius the Fair, who had been sent out as future 
bridegroom of the youthful heiress Berenice, intrigued 
with her widowed mother, and was finally put 
to death with her almost in the presence of the 
insulted girl. Then her marriage with the young 
king Ptolemy (Euergetes) was arranged, and this king 
also defeated Antigonus' fleet at Andros ; but Eastern 
affairs called away Euergetes' attention, and so the 
western empire w r as at peace, just when the Romans 
began to rest after their first Punic War, and the old 
king died full of years and of glory (B.C. 239). 


Ptolemy Philadelphia, the second of these kings, 
ruled from 282 to 246 B.C., and unlike Antigonus, who 
had to fight over and over again for his crown, succeeded 
at the age of twenty-four peacefully, in his wise father's 
lifetime, and without trouble from his desperate elder 
brother, who set all the rest of the empire aflame. In- 
deed he took advantage of the confusion caused by 
Seleucus' murder to seize Coele-Syria and Phoenicia, 
which Antiochus did not recover for ten years, and dur- 
ing most of his life he was striving, with considerable 
success, to grasp the coasts of Lycia and Caria, to 
control the Greek cities of Asia Minor, and to extend 
his influence over the Black Sea, so as to close the 
northern trade-route from the East to Europe. He 
fought all his wars rather by political combinations 
and subsidies from his great wealth, than by actual 
campaigns, for he was no general, and never took the 
field. So he raised up enemies against Antigonus, as 
we have just seen, in Greece. He set the dynasts of 
Bithynia and Pontus against their suzerain Antiochus. 
He even sought the friendship of the Romans, to whom 
he sent a friendly embassy (B.C. 273), just after their 
defeat of Pyrrhus — an embassy received with great 
enthusiasm and every distinction by the Romans, for 
he was then the most powerful monarch in the world. 

Let us first turn our attention to his capital. Alex- 
andria, founded by the great conqueror, increased and 
beautified by Ptolemy Soter, was now far the greatest 
city of Alexander's Empire. It was the first of those 
new foundations which are a marked feature in 
Hellenism ; there were many others of great size and 
importance — above all, Antioch, then Seleucia on the 


Tigris, then Nicomedia, Nicaea, Apamea, which lasted ; 
besides such as Lysimacheia, Antigoneia, and others, 
which early disappeared. In fact, Macedonia was the 
only great power in those days content with a modest 
capital, for the Antigonids had not taken up Cassan- 
der's foundation, Cassandreia, nor would they leave 
their old seat at Pella. Alexandria was the model for 
all the rest. The intersection of two great principal 
thoroughfares, adorned with colonnades for the foot- 
ways, formed the centre point, the omphalos of the 
city. The other streets were at right angles with these 
thoroughfares, so that the whole place was quite 
regular. Counting its old part, Rhakotis, which was 
still the habitation of native Egyptians, Alexandria 
had five quarters, one at least devoted to Jews who 
had originally settled there in great numbers. The 
mixed population there of Macedonians, Greeks, 
Jews, and Egyptians gave a peculiarly complex and 
variable character to the population. 

Let us not forget the vast number of strangers from 
all parts of the world whom trade and politics brought 
there. It was the great mart where the wealth of 
Europe and of Asia changed hands. Alexander had 
opened the sea-way by exploring the coasts of Media 
and Persia. Caravans from the head of the Persian 
Gulf, and ships on the Red Sea, brought all the won- 
ders of Ceylon and China, as well as of Further India, 
to Alexandria. There, too, the wealth of Spain and 
Gaul, the produce of Italy and Macedonia, the amber 
of the Baltic and the salt fish of Pontus, the silver of 
Spain and the copper of Cyprus, the timber of Mace- 
donia and Crete, the pottery and oil of Greece — a 


thousand imports from all the Mediterranean — came to 
be exchanged for the spices of Arabia, the splendid 
birds and embroideries of India and Ceylon, the gold 
and ivory of Africa, the antelopes, the apes, the leo- 
pards, the elephants of tropical climes. Hence the 
enormous wealth of the Lagidae, for in addition to the 
marvellous fertility and great population — it is said to 
have been seven millions — of Egypt, they made all 
the profits of this enormous carrying trade. 

We gain a good idea of what the splendours of the 
capital were by the very full account preserved to us 
by Athenaeus of the great feast which inaugurated the 
reign of Pbiladelphus. The enumeration of what 
went in the state procession is veritably tedious to 
read, but must have been astonishing to behold. It 
took the whole day to defile through the streets, at 
which we need not wonder, when we find that the 
troops alone, all dressed in splendid uniforms, num- 
bered nearly 60,000. Not only was there gold and 
silver in infinite display, but every kind of exotic 
flower, forced out of its natural season, and troops of 
all the wild animals in the world, from the white polar 
bear, to the rhinoceros of Ethiopia — gazelles, zebras, 
wild asses, elephants, bisons. There were, moreover, 
great mummeries with mythological and allegorical 
figures, just like those of the Middle Ages; hunting 
scenes too and vintage scenes, with satyrs treading 
the wine-press, and the streets flowing with the foaming 
juice. There were negroes and Indians, mock prisoners 
in the triumph of Dionysus, and personification of all 
the cities, and the seasons of the year, and a great deal 
more with which it is not necessary to delay the reader. 




juuuuuuuu y 












11-J 1 








All this seems idle pomp, and the doing of an idle 
sybarite. Philadelphia was anything but that. He 
was determined to drain life to the uttermost, and for 
that end he essayed every sort of enjoyment, except 
that of military glory, which his weak frame and 
delicate health precluded. After his accession he 
cleared away the possible claimants or disturbers of 
his throne with the quick and bloody ruthlessness of 
an Oriental despot, but from that time on his sway 
was that of gentleness, mildness, subtlety. Diplomacy 
was evidently one of his main pursuits, and he em- 
braced in his practice of it all the known world. At 
every court he had his emissaries, and in every king- 
dom his supporters. He fought all his wars by raising 
up enemies to his opponents in their own land. He 
enjoyed the support and friendship of many potentates. 
It was he who opened up the Egyptian trade with 
Italy, and made Puteoli the great port for ships from 
Alexandria, which it remained for centuries. It was 
he who explored ^Ethiopia and the southern parts of 
Africa, and brought back not only the curious fauna 
to his zoological gardens, but the first knowledge of 
the Troglodytes for men of science. The cultivation 
of science and of letters too was so remarkably one of 
his pursuits that the progress of the Alexandria of 
his day forms an epoch in the world's history, and 
we must separate his University and its professors 
from this summary, and devote to them a separate 

Nor was he content with pure intellectual pleasures, 
or the pleasures of diplomatic intrigue. Like Augustus 
of Saxony and Louis I. of Bavaria, he varied his 


pursuits of art or politics with galant adventures, and 
his amours were the talk of the capital. He had 
married his full sister Arsinoe, 1 when she was near forty 
years of age, and had already passed through a gale 
of fortunes, which may have made her weary of 
ordinary love and jealousy. She was deified by her 
husband, and associated with him in all his public acts. 
We do not hear that they ever quarrelled ; but she left 
her husband full liberty to follow his wild search for 
some new pleasure — perhaps on condition of his 
forming no other royal alliance. So the king's 
favourites lived, like the Princess Dolgorouki the other 
day, in the Royal Palace, and their portraits were as 
common as are now the photographs of professional 
beauties — one in particular, in a single tunic without 
sleeves, as she had just caught his fancy drawing 
water with a pitcher. All this life was so full, with its 
diplomacy, its art, its science, its letters, its loves, that 
we do not wonder to hear that the king longed to enjoy 
it beyond the span of ordinary men, and sought in 
mystic rites for the elixir of immortality. Neverthe- 
less he had his griefs too, especially from his feeble 
health, and when tortured with gout, he would look 
out upon the Fellahs at work in the broiling sun, or 
resting at their frugal noonday meal, and long that he 
could enjoy life as they did ; and yet he and his sister- 
wife were gods, worshipped as the Philadelphi; and the 
priestess (Canephorus) of Arsinoe the murderess, the 
adulteress, the traitoress, now queen of Egypt, was 

1 Hence his title of Philadelphus, sister-loving ; such an union was 
very offensive to Greek ideas, where marriages of uncle and niece, and 
even of half brothers and sisters were tolerated. 



like the great priestesses of Argos and elsewhere, used 
to fix the date of all public events. 

We are not astonished that Philadelphus, with all 
his physicians and his magic draughts, failed to reach 
the advanced age of his great rival Antigonus. He died 
about the age of sixty-three, worn out no doubt by the 
enjoyments and labours of his wonderful life. But he 
left a splendid empire and a full treasury to a brilliant 
son, and might justly boast that as he had handed on 
the torch of empire unquenched to his successor, so 
perfectly had he attained and perfected all that was 
great and good in Hellenism. Rhodes, Pergamum, 
Antioch, were all great and splendid in the peculiar 
style of this period, but none of them ever equalled 
Alexandria in their effects on the civilization of the 
world. We shall return presently to the literary side of 
Alexandria, when we have 'given, for completeness' 
sake, a short sketch of the third monarch of the empire 
— Antiochus, who was established in the rival capital of 
Antioch, and sought to emulate both the commerce 
and the culture of Alexandria. 

Antiochus Soter is the last of these kings. The 
Syrian monarchs had shorter reigns than those of 
the rival kingdoms. Antiochus I. had fought at the 
battle of Ipsus, when the cavalry under him was 
defeated by Demetrius Poliorketes ; he did not suc- 
ceed till the age of forty-four, after having long 
governed the " Upper provinces " of Seleucus' great 
empire with his wife Stratonice, sister of Antigonus 
Gonatas, who had been married to his father Seleu- 
cus, but whom the old king gave up to his son, when 
he found that he was dying of love for his step- 


mother. These Diadochi were indeed very lax about 
their marriage relations ! Succeeding upon the sud- 
den murder of his father by Keraunos, then finding 
his realm invaded in the north-west by the Galatae, in 
the south-west by Ptolemy, the valiant king was 
unable to hold all that was bequeathed to him. He 
made peace with Antigonus, ceding to him Mace- 
donia, which he had never possessed, and giving him 
his sister Phila in marriage. Then he was obliged to 
give up his sovranty over Pontus, Bithynia, and the 
Greek cities in the north of Asia Minor. His victory 
over the Galatae earned him the name of Soter (Sa- 
viour), and gave him a sort of suzerainty over the 
lesser kingdoms which the barbarians threatened. 
Even Armenia maintained its independence, and in 
the south he was unable to wrest Coele-Syria and 
Palestine from Ptolemy. 

Nevertheless he kept great state at his mighty 
capital Antioch, which from its lovely situation, its 
splendid water-supply from the overhanging moun- 
tains, its fairy suburbs, especially Daphne on the 
higher slopes, its fine seaport (Seleucia on the 
Orontes), and its proximity to many other cities and 
rich plains of Inner Syria, became one of the world's 
resting-places. The city was built on the plan of 
Alexandria, but stretched along the Orontes, as the 
overhanging mountains forbade extension in breadth. 
Every private house had its own water-supply, all the 
public places their fountains ; people of all nations 
came there together, to enjoy the fruits of Greek 
culture, and to commune in the Greek tongue. An- 
tiochus was fond of letters also. Aratus the astron- 


omer was at his court as well as at that of Antigonus ; 
it was Antiochus who began that remarkable fashion 
of having the books of other nations translated into 
Greek. Berosus, the Chaldean, published the my- 
thology and history of Babylon from the cuneiform 
records, by order of the king, and then settled in Cos, 
where he taught astrology. It was doubtless at his 
suggestion that Manetho translated a similar work 
from the hieroglyphics on the history of Egypt for 
Philadelphus. Nay, it is more than probable that the 
early Greek version of the Pentateuch, with which 
our Septuagint version began, was made at the same 
time, and with the same object — to acquaint Greek- 
speaking people with the wisdom and the mysteries 
of all ancient and cultivated races ; for true Hellenism 
was, like Christianity, no respecter of persons or of 
races. All peoples who showed culture, who could 
contribute to human learning or happiness, and who 
could do it in Greek, were welcome to take their 
place within the sphere of great civilization. Hel- 
lenism was then an expression such as " European 
culture " is now. 

Though we know little personally of Antiochus 
Soter, we can feel that he was a worthy and useful 
promoter of the great spirit of his time, and when he 
died at the age of sixty-four, just after a defeated en- 
deavour to subdue Eumenes, the new prince of Per- 
gamum, who refused him submission, the world must 
have felt a serious loss. 

He was succeeded by his son, called Theos (the 
god) by the Greek cities (Miletus, &c), which he de- 
clared free when he found he could no longer control 


them. About this king we know even less than we 
do about his father. We are informed that he made 
conquests as far as Thrace — endeavouring to makegood 
some of his father's losses ; that he was unable to sub- 
due Pergamum, but liberated the neighbouring great 
cities, probably to set them against the new dynast ; 
also that he had a long and tedious war with Ptolemy 
Philadelphus, which so wearied that monarch that he 
settled it on the basis of a new alliance, whereby An- 
tiochus was to give up his previous wife Laodice, 
banish her and her children, and marry Berenice, 
daughter of the Egyptian king. By this means the 
old diplomatist expected to secure a practical supre- 
macy in Syria ; but Philadelphus just lived long 
enough to hear of the fearful catastrophe which upset 
all his plans. The discarded queen and her party 
managed to entice Antiochus to visit them at Sardis. 
There he was poisoned, and forthwith the young 
Egyptian queen was pursued through Antioch to her 
retreat at Daphne and murdered. This tragedy gave 
rise to a great war, which will naturally be related 
under the reign of the next Ptolemy, who undertook 
it immediately after his accession (B.C. 246). 

Such were the events which agitated the East in 
the last years of the veteran Antigonus ; but the reign 
of Antiochus Theos is far more deeply interesting, 
from another cause. It gives us the date when a 
series of revolts in the " Upper provinces " not only 
severed them for a time from the heritage of the 
empire, but brought a great Oriental reaction to 
bear upon Hellenism. The reader has already been 
told how the empire of Chandragupta had invaded 


the Eastern provinces of Seleucus, and how Seleucus 
had made a cession of what he could not hold. For 
the building of his capital Antioch and his whole 
policy, showed that his eye was set on«the West, on 
the Mediterranean as the true home of Hellenism, 
and therefore of real culture and progress. Doubtless 
this fixing of his residence near the western extreme 
of his kingdom was one chief cause why the " Upper 
provinces " fell away. In the reign of the king now 
before us, it seems that Atropatene, named in honour 
of the satrap Atropates, who had declared himself 
king after Alexander's death, took the lead. It was 
practically Northern Media, and its independence 
stopped the way from the East along the foot of the 
Caspian — the Seleucian Sea it had been called — and 
so the great northern highway of traffic to the Black 
Sea. No doubt Ptolemy's far-seeing diplomacy pro- 
moted this revolt, though the facts are lost to us. 
Then we find that the provinces of Bactria and Sog- 
diana, separated from the empire by this revolt, set 
up kings of their own, but marvellous to relate, kings 
with Greek names (Euthydemus, Diodotus), who gave 
them a thoroughly Greek coinage, which has recently 
been discovered. The scanty remains of their archi- 
tecture also show that the kings of this far remote 
Asiatic realm bordering upon the Tartars were Hel- 
lenistic in culture, and are still to be regarded as dis- 
tinct descendants of Alexander. So far, then, Hel- 
lenism was still triumphant, but of course with many 
compromises and concessions as to religion and 
language. Above all the kingdom of Chandragupta 
was now in the hands of his pious grandson Acoka, 


whose adoption of the creed of Buddha was probably 
as great an event as the adoption of Christianity by 
Constantine. This great king's influence gave free 
scope to the strong missionary spirit of the Buddhist 
priests, and we are told in his inscriptions that their 
apostles reached into the kingdoms of the Hellenistic 
world. Antiochus,Antigonus, Magas, Ptolemy, Alex- 
ander of Epirus, are all named. So, then, an influ- 
ence strongly antagonistic to Hellenism was at work 
in the Eastern provinces, and we may take it as 
probable that Buddhist missionaries preached in 
Syria two centuries before the teaching of Christ 
(which has so many moral points in common) was 
heard in Northern Palestine. So true is it that every 
great historical change has had its forerunner, and 
that people's minds must be gradually led to the 
great new truths, which are indeed the gift of Divine 
inspiration. 1 The tolerance of Hellenism, nay, the 
curiosity which ordered the translation of the sacred 
books of Jews, Egyptians, and Babylonians into 
Greek, must have allowed free play to the dissemi- 
nation of these deeper moral systems. How far even 
later Stoicism may not have been affected by them it 
is hard to say. The Stoics were certainly in contact 
with Cilicia and Syria, and may well have been struck 
with the doctrine which, along with its Pantheism, 
preached humility, abstinence, charity, benevolence in 

1 This is true even of teachings that are not divinely inspired. Witness 
those Hanifs who, just before the appearance of Mohammed, were 
eagerly looking for some religion more satisfactory than the Arabian 
fetishism and idol - worship. See "The Story of the Saracens," 
chap, vi. 



a way far more complete than any Hellene could 
ever have conceived. If the creed of Buddha had 
been translated into Greek, and so circulated, there 
can be little doubt that it would have had its mission- 
aries and monks all over the Mediterranean, and 
perhaps even at Rome. But without that step it was 
totally foreign to Hellenism. And this step it was, 
the producing of its gospels in Greek, which gave 
Christianity at once a passport to all the civilization 
of the West. 

But we must leave these deeply attractive conside- 
rations which reach far away into subsequent history, 
and return to tamer problems. We have postponed 
till now some account of the literature, of Alexandria, 
and hence of the Hellenistic world in the days ot 




It is the bane of history that we are obliged to set 
down so much about wars and alliances, about the 
follies and prowesses of princes and generals, and so 
the better part — the development of ideas, the pro- 
gress of culture and of letters, the advance of political 
and moral knowledge — in fact, the life of peoples and 
not that of their accidental governors is left out, or 
pushed into a corner. It is a pleasant escape, there- 
fore, from the tortuous and complicated diplomacies, 
the cross-purposes, the labyrinths of alliances among 
the royal houses of the day, to a consideration of the 
import of what they have left us in science and litcra 
ture. It is, alas, but very little ! Five Alexandrian 
poets are preserved. We have in the earlier books of 
the Septuagint a specimen of what sort of Greek was 
current in prose at that time. We have some infor- 
mation as to the pursuit of science ; but the history 
of the organization of the University and its staff is 
covered with almost impenetrable mist. For the 
Museum and Library were in the strictest sense what 
we should now call an University, and one, too, of the 


Oxford type, where learned men were invited to take 
Fellowships, and spend their learned leisure close to 
observatories in science, and a great library of books. 
Like the mediaeval universities, this endowment of 
research naturally turned into an engine for teaching, 
as all who desired knowledge flocked to such a centre, 
and persuaded the Fellow to become a Tutor. 

The model came from Athens. There tl e schools, 
beginning with the Academy of Plato, had a fixed 
property — a home with its surrounding garden, and 
in order to make this foundation sure, it was made a 
shrine where the Muses were worshipped, and where 
the head of the school, or a priest appointed, per- 
formed stated sacrifices. This, then, being held in 
trust by the successors of the donor, who bequeathed 
it to them, was a property which it would have been 
sacrilegious to invade, and so the title Museum arose 
for a school of learning. Demetrius the Phalerean, 
the friend and protector of Theophrastus, brought this 
idea with him to Alexandria, when his namesake 
drove him into exile (see p. 59), and it was no 
doubt his advice to the first Ptolemy which originated 
the great foundation, though Philadelphus, who again 
exiled Demetrius, gets the credit of it. The pupil of 
Aristotle moreover impressed on the king the neces- 
sity of storing up in one central repository all that 
the world knew or could produce, in order to ascer- 
tain the laws of things from a proper analysis of 
detail. Hence was founded not only the great library, 
which in those days had a thousand times the value a 
great library has now, but also observatories, zoolo- 
gical gardens, collections of exotic plants, and of other 


new and strange things brought by exploring expe- 
ditions from the furthest regions of Arabia and Africa. - 

This library and museum proved indeed a home 
for the Muses, and about it a most brilliant group of 
students in literature and science was formed. The 
successive librarians were Zenodotus, the grammarian 
or critic ; Callimachus, to whose poems we shall pre- 
sently return ; Eratosthenes, the astronomer, who 
originated the process by which the size of the earth is 
determined to-day ; Apollonius the Rhodian, disciple 
and enemy of Callimachus ; Aristophanes of Byzan- 
tium, founder of a school of philological criticism ; and 
Aristarchus of Samos, reputed to have been the 
greatest critic of ancient times. The study of the 
text of Homer was the chief labour of Zenodotus, 
Aristophanes, and Aristarchus, and it was Aristarchus 
who mainly fixed the form in which the Iliad and the 
Odyssey remain to this day. 

In this time of mental activity, Eratosthenes 
devoted himself, among other things, to chronology, 
endeavouring to establish it upon a scientific basis. 
He made an effort to verify the Trojan era, fixing 
it at 1 183 or 1 1 84, which, though now consi- 
dered conjectural and only approximate, is still 
acknowledged to be entitled to consideration. The 
varied accomplishments of this remarkable man led 
Strabo, in contrasting him with Callimachus, who 
alone is deemed worthy of comparison with him for 
versatility, to remark that Eratosthenes was not only 
a poet and a grammarian, as Callimachus was, but 
that he had also reached the highest excellence as a 
philosopher and a mathematician. He was the first 


person who bore the title of philologer. His reputa- 
tion rests mainly upon his discoveries, fcr his literary 
labours have perished, with the exception of a few 
fragments. Such were some of the men who, under 
the patronage of the Ptolemies, preserved for us all 
the best specimens of Greek literature that have been 
spared from the ravages of time. Their unwearied 
learning, extraordinary talents, and unbounded ambi- 
tion for contemporary praise, made the city of Alex- 
andria a hotbed of literary activity. 

The vast collections of the library and museum 
actually determined the whole character of the litera- 
ture of Alexandria. One word sums it all up — 
erudition, whether in philosophy, in criticism, in 
science, even in poetry. Strange to say, they 
neglected not only oratory, for which there was no 
scope, but history, and this we may attribute to the 
fact that history before Alexander had no charms for 
Hellenism. Mythical lore, on the other hand, strange 
uses and curious words, were departments of research 
dear to them. In science they did great things, so 
did they in geography, and their systematic transla- 
tion from foreign sacred books have been already 

But were they original in nothing ? Did they add 
nothing of their own to the splendid record of Greek 
literature ? 

In the next generation came the art of criticism, 
which Aristarchus developed into a real science, and 
of that we may speak in its place ; but even in this 
generation we may claim for them the credit of three 
original, or nearly original, developments in literature 



— the pastoral idyll, as we have it in Theocritus ; the 
elegy, as we have it in the Roman imitators of Phi- 
letas and Callimachus ; and the romance, or love story, 
the parent of our modern novels. All these had early 
prototypes in the folk songs of Sicily, in the love songs 
of Mimnermus and of Antimachus, in the tales of 
Miletus, but still the revival was fairly to be called 

Of these the pastoral idyll was far the most remark- 
able, and laid hold upon the world for ever. To the 
pedants in their cloisters, to the fashionable world 
living in the hot streets, and surrounded by the sand 
hills of Alexandria, nothing could be more delightful 
than the freshness of the cool uplands, the shade be- 
side the fern-plumed well, the whispering of leaves and 
music of falling water, the bleating of sheep and the 
lowing of kine, the bubbling of the pail, 

"The moan of doves in immemorial elms, 
And murmuring of innumerable bees." 

They delighted to hear of the shepherds' rivalry in 
song, and of the pipe sounding through the vales, 
which was silenced in hot mid-day when angry Pan 
took his siesta, and would brook no disturbance save 
the soothing pertinacity of the sunburnt cicada. 

All this poetry was as artificial as the "Arcadia" of 
Sannazaro, 1 the pictures of Watteau, or the Trianon 

1 See "Rambles and Studies in Greece," third edition, chap, xiii., 
where the history of the Arcadia of poetry is given for the first time. 
If the reader wants a famous English example of this artificial poetry, 
let him turn to the " Lycidas " of Milton, where he and his friend 
King appear as shepherds, and their college tutor as "old Damoetas," 


of the hapless Marie Antoinette. Even the pedants 
were dressed up as shepherds in these idylls, and 
addressed in feigned names ; but artificial nature has 
always been popular among very civilized people. 
The limits of this book do not permit extensive quo- 
tations, but a few lines must be admitted from the 
admirable version of Theocritus by C. S. Calverley. 

Idyll IX. 


Daphnis. Menalcas. A Shepherd. 


A song from Daphnis ! Open he the lay, 

He open : and Menalcas follow next : 

While the calves suck, and with the barren kine 

The young bulls graze, or roam knee-deep in leaves, 

And ne'er play truant. But a song from thee, 

Daphnis — anon Menalcas will reply. 


Sweet is the chorus of the calves and kine, 

And sweet the herdsman's pipe. But none may vie 

With Daphnis ; and a rush-strown bed is mine 
Near a cool rill, where capeted I lie 

a Sicilian hind. The influence of Theocritus, without his artificiality, 
is seen in Tennyson, and it has been more marked"in the Laureate than 
that in any other modern poet. 


On fair white goatskins. From a hill-top high 
The westwind swept me down the hard entire, 

Cropping the strawberries ; whence it comes that I 
No more heed summer, with his breath of fire, 
Then lovers heed the words of mother and of sire. 

Thus Daphnis ; and Menalcas answered thus : — 


.ditna, mother mine ! A grotto fair, 
Scooped in the rocks have I : and there I keep 

All that in dreams men picture ! Treasured there 
Are multitudes of she-goats and of sheep, 
Swathed in whose wool from top to toe I sleep. 

The fire that boils my pot, with oak or beech 

Is piled — dry beech-logs when the snow lies deep ; 

And storm and sunshine, I disdain them each 

As toothless sires a nut, when broth is in their reach. 

1 clapped applause, and straight produced my gifts : 
A staff for Daphnis — 'twas the handiwork 

Of nature, in my father's acres grown : 
Yet might a turner find no fault therewith. 
I gave his mate a goodly spiral-shell : 
We stalked its inmate on the Icarian rocks, 
And ate him, parted fivefold among five. 

There we lay 
Half-buried in a couch of fragrant reed 
And fresh-cut vine leaves, who so glad as we ? 
A wealth of elm and poplar shook o'erhead ; 
Hard by, a sacred spring flowed gurgling on 
From the Nymphs' grot, and in the sombre boughs 
The sweet cicada chirped laboriously. 
Hid in the thick thorn-bushes far away 
The tree-frog's note was heard ; the crested lark 
Sang with the goldfinch, turtles made their moan, 
And o'er the fountain hung the gilded bee. 

All of rich summer smacked, of autumn all : 


Pears at our feet, and apples at our side 

Rolled in luxuriance ; branches on the ground 

Sprawled, overweighed with damsons ; while we brushed 

From the cask's head the crust of four long years. 

Say, ye who dwell upon Parnassian peaks, 

Nymphs of Castalia, did old Chiron e'er 

Set before Heracles a cup so brave 

In Pholus' cavern — did as nectarous draughts 

Cause the Anapian shepherd, in whose hand 

Rocks were as pebbles, Polypheme the strong, 

Featly to foot it o'er the cottage lawns : 

As, ladies, ye bid flow that day for us 

All by Demeter's shrine at harvest-home ? 

Beside whose cornstacks may I oft again 

Plant my broad fan : while she stands by and smiles, 

Poppies and corn-sheaves on each laden arm. 


" Land and sea alike 
And sounding rivers hail King Ptolemy. 
Many are his horsemen, many his targeteers, 
Whose burdened breast is bright with clashing steel ; 
Light are all royal treasuries, weighed with his ; 
For wealth from all climes travels day by day 
To his rich realm — a hive of prosperous peace. 
No foeman's tramp scares monster-peopled Nile, 
Waking to war her far-off villages : 
No armed robber from his war-ship leaps 
To spoil the herds of Egypt. Such a prince 
Sits throned in her broad plains, in whose right arm 
Quivers the spear — the bright-haired Ptolemy. 
Like a true king, he guards with might and main 
The wealth his sires' arms have won him and his own. 
Nor strown all idly o'er his sumptuous halls 
Lie piles that seem the work of labouring ants. . . . 
None entered e'er the sacred lists of song, 
Whose lips could breathe sweet music, but he gained 


Fair guerdon at the hand of Ptolemy. 

And Ptolemy do muses votaries hymn 

For his good giits — hath man a fairer lot 

Than to have earned such fame among mankind ? . . . 

Ptolemy, he only, treads a path whose dust 

Burns with the footprints of his ancestors, 

And overlays those footprints with his own." 


" I pipe to Amaryllis; while my goats, 

Tityrus their guardian, browse along the fell. . . ^ 

Ah, winsome Amaryllis ! why no more 
Greet 'st thou thy darling, from the caverned rock, 
Peeping all coyly ? Think'st thou scorn of him ? 
Hath a near view revealed him satyr-shaped 
Of chin and nostril ? I shall hang me soon. 
See here ten apples : from thy favourite tree 
I plucked them ; I shall bring ten more anon. 
Ah, witness my heart-anguish ! Oh, were I 
A booming bee, to waft me to thy lair, 
Threading the fern and ivy in whose depths 
Thou ne^tlest ! I have learned what love is now." * 

The other poets we still possess from the days of 
Philadelphia are far inferior, but still by no means 
despicable. They are Callimachus, who has left us 
" Hymns to the Gods," on the model of the Homeric 
hymns ; Apollonius Rhodius, who has left us the 

' The reader who prefers prose to verse will like to consult the ex- 
cellent version of Theocritus by Andrew Lang, which is valuable for 
the essay which precedes the translations ; but a poetical translation of 
a poet is greatly to be preferred, and this is now-a-day.s no truism, as it 
ought to be. 


epic of the Argonauts ; Aratus, who has given us a 
treatise on astronomy in hexametres, and Lycophron, 
whose "Alexandra" has become famous for its ob- 
scurity. All these poets were spoilt by their erudi- 
tion. They are always seeking out obscure myths, 
and dealing in recondite allusions. The vocabulary 
they use is not the living speech of any Greeks, but 
a pedantic collection from the curiosities in older 
poets. This is their general character, and the same 
may be said of the epigrams, which all that school 
cultivated, and which became as fashionable at Alex- 
andria as double acrostics are now. In these it was 
not only neat points, and general smartness, which 
were successfully studied, but the words employed 
are often such as puzzle any classical scholar trained 
upon pure models. 

Callimachus, who was also librarian of the great 
Library, and so had the highest literary post at Alex- 
andria, was the most celebrated of these poets in his 
day ; Apollonius Rhodius is certainly, so far as we 
know, the best next to Theocritus. His epic on the 
adventures of the Argonauts contains not only the 
usual amount of erudition, of recondite myth and 
mythical geography, but it has the story of a great 
passion, the love of Medea for Jason, which has in- 
spired the noblest of all Roman poets, Virgil, with 
his matchless episode of Dido. 

This painting of the passion of love, which led 
ultimately to the prose novels of the Greeks, such as 
the " Daphnis and Chloe " of Longus, was perhaps 
the most important new feature in Alexandrian litera- 
ture. It is not the painting of revenge, or of a fatal 


passion, like Euripides' Medea and Phaedra, but simply 
the analysis of the process of falling in love, which 
was so new and attractive to the Hellenistic Greeks. 
Its earliest type was Callimachus' metrical story of 
Acontius and Cydippe, of which we know that it 
merely related how two young people, whose beauty 
was very fully described, fell in love, were thwarted 
by their parents, went through the usual perturbations 
on such occasions, and finally, with the aid of sickness 
and the advice of friendly oracles, overcame the resist- 
ance of father and mother, and were happily married. 
It seems almost grotesque to speak of such a plot as 
a novelty in literature, and yet such it was. It was 
combined, presently, with another vein of romance, 
that of wonderful travels in remote lands, and adven- 
tures therein, such as are told of Alexander in the 
curious romance ascribed to Callisthenes, but really 
composed at Alexandria somewhat later than the 
generation before us. Nevertheless, we may be sure the 
materials were already accumulating in the folklore 
of the Alexandrians. 

The works of Aratus, who is really a scientific man 
who wrote in metre, and the obscure prophecies of 
Alexandra (Cassandra) given in hardly intelligible 
Greek by Lycophron, are not literature that any one 
will take up now for either pleasure or profit ; and 
still Aratus was closely copied by Virgil in describing 
the signs of weather in his Georgics, a passage of 
great beauty in the Latin version. 

The seven tragic poets, called the Pleiad, are to us 
only names ; and the comic poets, who transferred 
the genteel comedy of Athens to Alexandria, have 


only left us a few fragments showing how closely they 
adhered to the Attic models. But let us not forget 
that these second-rate Alexandrian poets were the 
first models adopted by the Romans, when this people 
were admitted to Hellenistic culture. Callimachus and 
his rivals were the source from which Catullus, Proper- 
tius, and even Virgil and Ovid, drew their inspiration. 
It was not till Horace that we find the Romans dis- 
covering purer and higher poetry in Alcaeus and 
Sappho, and rejecting Hellenistic for truly Hellenic 

We have yet to say a word on the most important 
and remarkable, though not the most artistic, of the 
literary remains left us by the Alexandria of Phila- 
delphus. We have in the Septuagint, a Greek version 
of the Hebrew Old Testament, the first great essay 
in translation into Greek, a solitary specimen of the 
ordinary language spoken and understood in those 
days. There is a famous legend of the origin of the 
work by order of the Egyptian king, and of the 
perfect agreement of all the versions produced by the 
learned men who had been sent at his request from 
Judaea. Laying aside these fables, it appears that the 
books were gradually rendered for the benefit of the 
many Jews settled in Egypt, who seem to have been 
actually forgetting their old language. Perhaps Phila- 
delphus gave an impulse to the thing by requiring a 
copy for his library, which seems to have admitted 
none but Greek books. Probably, too, the Penta- 
teuch was translated first, and about this time, the 
rest following, till the days when the translator of 
" Ecclesiasticus " (about 140 B.C.) speaks of the 


main body of books as clearly before the Greek 

We can see from the Septuagint what sort of Greek 
was spoken in Hellenistic capitals — very coarse and 
rude as compared with Attic refinement, interlarded 
with local words, which would differ according to the 
province and its older tongue, but a practical and 
handy common language, such as Latin was in the 
Europe of the Middle Ages, and such as we hope 
English will one day become, when we make our 
spelling as simple as our grammar, and give up the 
absurd fashion of writing one sound and speaking 

No great common culture is possible without a 
common language, and what unity there now is 
in European civilization was created by the Church 
with its Latin ritual, and its constant teaching of 
Latin as the tongue of educated intercourse. Had 
this not been the case, the great nations of Europe 
would now stand asunder to an extent almost incon- 
ceivable. So Syria and Macedonia, Egypt and Greece, 
were perfectly isolated in culture until the common 
bond of language united them. Acoka (the Indian 
king) speaks of them all as kings of the Yavanas 
(Ionians or Greeks), and rightly. The Egyptian 
papyri of the time speak of the invaders as Greeks, 
and yet it was only in language that they were Greeks, 
and perhaps in the most superficial elements of their 
culture. But it was the great connecting link which 
helped to advance the world with a rapidity that can 
only be compared to the effects of steam on modern 



To describe the developments of science, of which 
the leading production was the great book of Euclid 
which still infests our schools, of geography, developed 
by Eratosthenes, and of medicine and natural history 
— all of which were studied with great success at the 
Museum of Alexandria — would take us beyond our 




LET us take another look at chronology, and give 
a table of the third generation of Hellenism in the 
three great kingdoms of the empire : 

Sparta. 1 

Agis IV ace. about 244 

put to death 240 

Cleomenes III ace. 236 

died in Egypt, 220 

Ptolemy III. (Euergetes) ace. 246 

Ptolemy IV. (Philopator) ace. 221, 
not more than 24 years old. 

Demetrius II. ... ... ace. 239 

Antigonus (Doson) ... ace. 229 

Philip V. ... ace. 220, at the age 
of 17. 

Seleucus II. (Callinicus) 246 
Seleucus III. (Soter) ... ace. 226 

Antiochus III. (the Great) ace. 222, 
at the age of 20. 

1 Of course there were two lines of kings (Agidae and Proclidae) of 
Sparta. The second king, Leonidas, was deposed by Agis, and Cleom- 
brotus put in his stead. Then Leonidas returned, drove out Cleombro- 
tus, and succeeded in putting Agis to death. The son of Agis, being 
an infant, and his mother married to Cleomenes, Leonidas's son, there 
was practically only one king, and this was more strictly the case when 
Agis's son died — his brother was in exile — and Cleomenes succeeded 
his father Leonidas. For our purpose, then, the above table is sufficient, 
if we remember that Cleomenes represented the Proclid kings } Agis, 
the Agidae. 


During - the whole of this generation, and far into 
the next, Attalus I. reigned at Pergamum. 

The history revives again from its obscurity by the 
fact that we have three important and picturesque 
Lives of Plutarch which cover it : those of Agis, 
Cleomenes, and Aratus ; but we must resume the 
thread of the Eastern kingdoms, which entered into 
a great and momentous conflict while old Antigonus 
was still alive. This was the war undertaken in all 
haste by Ptolemy Euergetes either to save his sister 
Berenice's life, or to avenge her murder. The new 
king of Syria, Seleucus II., a mere youth, was in Asia 
Minor. Ptolemy was before him at the mouth of the 
Orontes, seized Seleucia, then Antioch, all Syria, and 
with his great army conquered all he desired of his 
rival's kingdom. He even penetrated the East as far 
as Bactria, and brought home from Persia, Media, 
Susiana, such treasures as astonished the Egyptians. 
It was from this cause that he was called Euergetes, 
the benefactor, especially as some Egyptian gods 
were among the spoil he recovered. 1 If he had had 

1 The history of this king has received much light, not only from the 
Adulitan inscription, but from the famous stone found at San (Tanis) 
in 1865, giving in hieroglyphics and Greek (the demotic version is> en 
the edge) a decree of the priests assembled at Canopus for their yearly 
salutation of the king. When they were so assembled, in his ninth 
year, his infant daughter, Berenice, fell sick and died, and there was 
great lamentation over her. The decree first recounts the generous 
conduct and prowess of the king, who had conquered all his enemies 
abroad, and had brought back from Persia all the statues of the gods 
carried off in old time from Egypt by foreign kings. He had also, in 
a great threatening of famine, when the Nile had failed to rise to its 
full amount, imported vast quantities of corn from Cyprus, Phoenicia, 
&c, and fed his people. Consequently divine honours are to be paid 


the ambition of Alexander, he would have aspired 
to a complete conquest of the East ; but he was 
recalled by trouble westward, apparently a revolt in 
Cyrene ; also an uprising of the Greek towns of 
Asia Minor in favour of Antiochus's heir, who had 
met so hard a fate at the very opening of his career. 
So, with Egyptian astuteness, Euergetes set up Seleu- 
cus's younger brother Antiochus Hierax, a boy of 
fourteen, as his rival ; and the war of the brothers 
occupied and weakened Syria for years. Thus Egypt 
was able to assert a just supremacy in the East. She 
owned considerable portions of Southern Asia Minor, 
swayed many of the Greek cities as far as the Pro- 
pontis, possessed territory in Thrace up to the Mace- 
donian frontier, and held all Palestine and Syria, 
along with Seleucia on the Orontes, by way of 
muzzling Syria as effectually as Germany in our day 
has muzzled France by holding the fortress of Metz. 

For the time, the Seleucid kingdom, distracted by 
rival claims and ravaged by enemies, lost its position 
in the empire. It is interesting to note that Euer- 

to him and his queen as Benefactor-Gods in all the temples of Egypt, and 
feasts to be held in their honour; one especially on the day of the rising 
of the Dog-star, which is not to vary with the day of the month, seeing 
that the common Egyptian year was only 365 days, and so the summer 
feasts had gradually moved into winter, and vice versd. 

This attempted reform of the calendar, by introducing the Sothiac 
year of 365 days and a quarter, is very interesting. 

These divine honours, and a special statue, with a special crown to 
distinguish her from her queen mother, are decreed to the child Bere- 
nice. The details of the crown are quite heraldic in their accuracy. 
This great inscription, far more perfect and considerably older than the 
Rosetta stone, can now be cited as the clearest proof of Champollion's 
reading of the hieroglyphics. It presented no difficulty to those who 
already understood Egyptology. 


getes left as satrap of his most eastern conquests, 
Persia and India, the famous soldier of fortune Xan- 
thippus, who had just returned from his victorious 
campaign against Regulus in Africa, full of rewards 
and honours, but either distrusting, or distrusted by, 
the merchants of Carthage. 1 

It was quite natural that this predominance of 
Egypt should call forth first the apprehensions, and 
then the resistance of the second-rate powers imme- 
diately concerned with it. Moreover the wars of the 
Seleucid brothers had so disturbed Asia Minor that 
the Galatians, who fought on all sides as mercenaries, 
were again let loose upon their neighbours, and plun- 
dered almost at will. It was to meet these dangers 
that we hear specially of Pergamum and Rhodes, as 
the leaders of Hellenism. Now it is that these two 
powers, one a monarchy, the other a republic, begin to 
take an active part in politics, and a leading place in 
art ; and they are the cities that we shall consider, 
when we pause again in our chronicle of facts to 
consider the social life and culture of this agitated 

We must say a few words more on the character 
and achievements of Euergetes, and the Egypt of his 
day, as that famous kingdom and dynasty, which he 
brought to its highest pitch of greatness and glory, 
almost collapses after his death from the incompe- 
tence or the vices of its rulers. With the third 
Ptolemy all the virtues of that great race, except, per- 
haps, the taste for patronizing learning, seem to take 
their departure. We have, unfortunately, no con- 
1 See " The Story of Rome," p. 132. 


nected history of this king ; what we know of his 
brilliant acts is derived from inscriptions, which are 
pompous panegyrics, and, moreover, fragmentary and 
incomplete. The small temple of Esne, which he 
built, was covered with the record of his wars, but 
these valuable inscriptions, seen and understood by 
Rosellini and Champollion in 1829, have since either 
been covered up, or were destroyed with the temple — 
at least, they are not accessible to the historian ; but 
the remains of other temples show how nobly the 
Ptolemies carried on the architectural traditions of 
the old kings of Egypt. We have, moreover, in the 
Coma Berenices of Catullus, a translation of the poem 
written by Callimachus, the poet laureate, to celebrate 
the vow of the young Cyrenaean queen, Berenice, to 
devote her hair to the gods upon the safe return of her 
youthful husband from his great expedition to avenge 
the death of his sister Berenice, the queen of Syria. 

It appears to have been this king who first carried 
out the scheme of Alexander, and effected the cir- 
cumnavigation of Arabia, so as to open its coasts to 
Hellenistic traffic. We have, too, the remarkable 
inscription of Adula, on the East Coast of Africa, not 
far from the present Suakim, which an Egyptian 
monk, Cosmas Indicopleustes, saw in the fifth century 
A.D. on a marble throne set up by Euergetes to com- 
memorate his visit, at the very end of his reign. 
Luckily the monk copied the inscription, which not 
only details the king's Eastern campaigns, but also 
his explorations and expeditions to Southern Arabia, 
Abyssinia, and Ethiopia, where he made highways, 
swept the seas of pirates, and brought back elephants 


to be trained for the purposes of war. It is possible that 
these southern campaigns and voyages may account 
for his apparent indifference to Hellenistic politics. 

The strides of science at this time were not less 
remarkable. Geographical exploration was not left 
without theory to gather and explain the facts. Era- 
tosthenes, the father of the scientific study of the 
earth, having learned that at the summer solstice the 
sun cast no shadow at Syene (Aswan), in Upper Egypt, 
noted the shadows at Alexandria, and at intervening 
places, having measured the distance. He thus, by his 
" Science of Shadows," discovered or proved that the 
earth was round, and estimated the way from Syene 
to Alexandria was one-fiftieth of the circumference 
of the globe. At the same time Apollonius was mak- 
ing those researches into the properties of the section 
of a cone, which led ultimately to the pure science of 
astronomy, and the practical science of systematic 
navigation. The true method of criticism was at the 
same time being applied by Aristophanes of Byzan- 
tium, who was afterwards chief librarian, to the poems 
of Homer, and so he founded the great school of men 
who have taught us moderns how to understand the 
literary history of the early books of all nations. 

If Egypt overshadowed Syria completely at this 
time, it likewise overshadowed Macedonia, whose 
king Demetrius is strangely unknown to us. He 
was engaged in fierce struggles against the Illy- 
rian and Dardanian barbarians, who were then 
threatening Greece with their invasions, and whose 
depredations on the coast of Italy were stopped, as 
all readers of Roman history know, 1 by the active 

1 See " Story of Rome." 


interference of the Romans, who then for the first 
time brought an armed force across the Adriatic. 
The northern barbarians of this period are like the 
northern heathen in the legends of Arthur, and the 
first duty of every Macedonian king, on his accession, 
was to secure that frontier of his dominions. On 
they came, again and again, helped by the jealous 
divisions of Achaeans, Spartans, and yEtolians, on the 
south of Macedonia, and so King Demetrius II. spent 
his life first in conquering the barbarians, then in 
conquering the Greeks, who had advanced as far as 
Thessaly against him, then again returning in haste 
to protect his northern frontier, where, after nine years 
of a glorious and successful reign, he fell in battle 
against the Dardanian hordes. 

Such were the external events of his life. Of his 
character, appearance, or of his court, we know ab- 
solutely nothing. But I have here anticipated events 
up to his death, in order that we may turn back at 
leisure, and consider from the Lives of Plutarch, 
the social and political movements in Greece since 
the rise of the Achaean League to power. These 
movements began in the days of Antigonus Gonatas, 
and they proceed in development down to the absorp- 
tion of the empire by the Romans. But in ordering 
so complicated a subject, it has been thought better 
to follow the history of the three main kingdoms of 
the empire till the secondary become of such import- 
ance as to make a capital figure in the world. This 
was the case with Greece after the middle of the 
third century B.C., and with Pergamum and Rhodes 
about the same time. 



No reader of this history should omit to have 
beside him Plutarch's Lives, and there study the 
picturesque details of the life of the men of this age, 
for which there is no space in this short book. No- 
where is Plutarch more picturesque than in the open- 
ing chapters of his sketch of Aratus, drawn, no doubt, 
from that politician's once well-known " Memoirs." 
The habit of keeping notes of one's own life, and 
leaving them as memoirs to posterity, was already 
fashionable, so that instead of the severe political 
history of Thucydides, which scorns personal details, 
most of our authorities now give us plenty of piquant 
anecdotes, witty sayings, and clever stratagems. The 
course of serious history is often obscured by these 
sallies ; great national movements come tobe attributed 
to the accident of this or that man's action ; for 
people are always glad to find some definite personal 
cause for a great vague movement, the growth of 
which they cannot grasp. If, however, we lose in 
political insight by this biographical way of treating 
history, we gain immensely in our knowledge of social 
and moral phases, in our appreciation of human 


nature, in the colour and richness of our picture, even 
when it varies considerably from the reality which it 
professes to copy. 

Aratus, like Pyrrhus, narrowly escaped death in 
his infancy at the hands of one of the many tyrants 
who in succession seized the rule of Sicyon. We see 
this kind of thing happening all through Greece, 
where any ambitious man, who- could by a massacre 
or otherwise make himself ruler, could count on the 
support of Antigonus Gonatas, or of Ptolemy, as 
these kings found it far easier to deal with Greek 
cities when represented by one man, than by the 
changing humour of a public assembly. When this 
particular tyrant Abantidas murdered Cleinias, father 
of Aratus, and sought to slay the child, he escaped 
and wandered in terror and alone till he came to the 
house of his uncle, who was married to a sister of the 
tyrant. This good woman hid him, and sent him 
away safely to Argos. 

Though an exile he grew up among rich friends, 
and apparently with ample means, and it was noted 
that instead of being educated in philosophy or in 
the science of strategy, he devoted himself to athletics, 
so as to compete in the Pentathlum or five events z of 
the public games. It is characteristic of the time to 
note that this was thought an inferior training, for not 
only was he no polished writer or speaker, but he had 
no nerve in regular warfare ; his whole appearance in 
his statues savoured of the coarse athletic habit, and 
he was eminently successful only in night surprises, 
or in equally surreptitious devices of a tortuous dip- 
1 Running, jumping, wrestling, boxing, and hurling quoits. 


lomacy. This, too, is remarkable, that while he was 
noted as the bitterest enemy of local tyrants, he 
always valued the favour of great kings, Ptolemy and 
Antigonus, and was eminently a courtier. For these 
sovrans were now conceded to have a lawful and even 
a divine right, while the upstart tyrants were fellow 
citizens, whom the inborn Greek jealousy could not 
tolerate over them, however just or enlightened was 
their rule. 

His great ambition was to free his native town, 
where one tyrant had succeeded another, and Plutarch 
has told us, evidently from the autobiography of 
Aratus, the thrilling narrative of the successful adven- 
ture, which he did not undertake till he had in vain 
solicited the help of the kings. First the tyrant's 
spies at Argos had their suspicions disarmed by see- 
ing him among his companions in youthful revelry. 
When they saw garlands and wreaths of flowers, and 
singing girls being sent to his house for a feast, they 
laughed at their master's fears from such a youth as 
this. And yet the rumours about his designs were 
correct. Then comes the preparation of scaling- 
ladders, the attempt to secure the dogs of the gar- 
dener, who dwelt beside the easiest spot of the walls 
of Sicyon. The party arrive before dawn, and set up 
their ladders in spite of the barking of the two little 
dogs, which had escaped when their master was 
seized and were very " pugnacious and uncompro- 
mising." The party had to lie down while the rfght 
watch passed along the wall, and now the cocks 
began to crow about the country, and they feared the 
early people would be coming in to market ; but the 


barking of the gardener's dogs, and the sullen answer 
of a large sporting dog, kept as a watch in one of the 
towers on the wall, were taken to be a response to 
the bell of the night watch, and so at last the con- 
spirators got in, and without any massacre seized the 
town, and burned the tyrant's house, while he escaped 
for his life. 

Aratus's next and most politic act was to put Sicyon 
(B.C. 250) under the Achaean League, which was 
still small and obscure, so that it seemed great conde- 
scension for a Doric city to join them. Even then he 
saw that without large funds, the return of exiles 
would be ruinous, for when they reclaimed their 
property it was impossible to satisfy them without 
banishment of the new occupiers. It was then that 
he undertook his adventurous x journey to Egypt, and 
begged from Philadelphus one hundred and fifty 
talents, wherewith he satisfied all the rival claims, 
before a court of fifteen arbitrators. We are told that 
he gained the favour of Ptolemy by presents of artistic 
value — statues and pictures, for which Sicyon was 
then very remarkable, and of which he was an ex- 
cellent judge. His policy was to play the part of 
Egypt against Macedonia, his nearer enemy. His 
capture of Corinth, in 243 B.C., is a story no less 
romantic than that of Sicyon, and was a great blow 
to Antigonus in his old age. This strengthened the 
League, and gave it a claim to extend itself all over 

1 Adventurous, because the fleet of Antigonus held the islands, and 
he was already recognized by the king as an enemy, who, by abolishing 
tyrants, took away Greek cities from Macedonian control. Aratus was 
all but captured on his way. 


Northern Peloponnesus. The extreme old age and 
death of Antigonus no doubt weakened the activity 
of Macedonia at this juncture, and gave Aratus time 
for the prosecution of his plans. Still they depended 
on foreign help for sufficient funds, and Ptolemy 
Euergetes was appointed the head of the League in 
war both by sea and land. This, of course, threw 
Antigonus necessarily into alliance with the JEto- 
lians, the rival federation in the north of Greece. As 
the obscurest province of the Peloponnesus now took 
the lead under Aratus, so the obscurest and most 
uncultivated part of Northern Greece also took the 
lead. These ^Etolians were only a great combination 
for mutual defence ; their League was not a true poli- 
tical system, though a very serious military power, and 
their influence on Greek history was very disastrous; 
but we shall not describe the principles and constitu- 
tion of these federations, so interesting especially for 
Americans, till we have noticed another new departure 
in the Peloponnesus — the revolutionary attempt of 
King Agis of Sparta. 



We have noticed that Aratus was not a philoso- 
pher or a theorist, but a practical man, often a mere 
diplomatist, carrying out a peculiar policy perhaps 
from ambition, perhaps from a higher principle, 
but as we shall see, never without jealousy and 
selfishness. He lived in an age when practical 
philosophy had taken deep hold of the nobler 
minds, and such men were eager to carry their 
theories into life. Some philosophers, like those at 
Sicyon who were friends of Abantidas, and enticed 
him to a discussion in their garden where he was 
murdered, were determined opponents of monarchy, 
and still held by the old Greek instinct of Republican 
liberty. So strong was this feeling in Epirus, that 
when the daughter of Pyrrhus, Queen Deidamia, lost 
her two sons, the heirs to the throne of Pyrrhus, the 
people insisted on abolishing the royalty (about 234 
B.C.), though an old and hereditary one, with a 
glorious past, and established a federation of towns, 
no doubt on the model of Achaea. On the other hand, 
earnest thinkers, especially Stoics, saw in the rule of 
one superior man the only safeguard from socialism 

SPARTA. 171 

and the violences of the mob. Some wrote tracts in 
favour of it ; others even grasped at such power 
themselves in order that they might carry their 
theories into practice. This must have been the case 
with the gallant Lydiades, the tyrant of Megalopolis, 
who (about the same time 235 B.C.), when he found 
that the risks and danger to the public weal exceeded 
the advantages he had hoped to confer, voluntarily 
surrendered his rule, and became with his city a loyal 
and valuable member of the Achaean League. 

There was one state in Greece, Sparta, where 
monarchy was indeed so ancient and respectable, that 
there if anywhere the name of king could excite no 
malevolence ; but then the divided throne and the power 
of the ephors had long since reduced the kingship to 
a position not unlike that of the sovran of England, 
who has all the prestige of royalty, and a great 
influence in a political crisis, but no control of the 
ordinary government of the country. It was an 
attractive idea, to recover again the reality of this 
ancient and hereditary power, and to try the experi- 
ment of real monarchy in Greece, not with an upstart 
tyrant, but with the high title and recognized homage 
frankly accorded to the lineal descendants of Herakles. 

The account given by Plutarch of the Sparta of 
that day is most curious. While the old forms of the 
Constitution remained, the social conditions of the 
country were so changed, that of the full-blooded 
Spartans seven hundred only remained, and one 
hundred houses held all the property ; the rest being 
paupers, and therefore of unequal civil rights. More- 
over a great part of the property lay in the hands of 


women — evidently from the habit of making daughters 
heiresses by will, to the exclusion of sons. We may 
suppose that the Spartan of that day thought that 
his sons might quite well earn an independence and 
even wealth as mercenaries, and that they were better 
away from Sparta, while his daughters were helpless 
and despised without a good fortune, influential in 
society if they possessed it. But as always happens, 
this or any other precaution did not get rid of the 
pauper-nobles or gentry of Sparta ; and so was formed 
a large and dangerous class of the needy or encum- 
bered, who idled about, envying and cursing the rich 
minority, and longing for the old half-mythical, over- 
praised, sentimental, Lycurgean life, which most of the 
theoretical lawgivers like Plato had made the model 
for their ideal Republics. Here then we meet the 
land question, in its most aggravated form ; and with 
it crops up the larger question of Socialism — the right 
of the poor to equality with the rich in every respect 
— as if the very essence of society, without which it 
never has existed and never will exist, did not lie in 
natural inequalities among men. 

Agis, a generous enthusiast, young and full of hope, 
did not see so far as this. He merely desired to apply 
over again the supposed arrangements of Lycurgus — 
the division of the land in the vale of Sparta, the 
richest and best, in equal lots to 4,500 Spartans, the 
rest among 15,000 Perioeki, as the subject population 
had been long entitled, " dwellers around " the Spartan 
land, and that these should be made up of strong 
men, fit to bear arms — strangers even if the popula- 
tion did not suffice. With it came the usual proposal 


for the abolition of all debts. This was brought by a 
friendly ephor before the assembly in 243 B.C., and of 
course excited a most furious opposition. Agis was 
quite in earnest ; he had persuaded his mother, grand- 
mother, and other friends to follow his example, and 
gave all their private property to the State. All the 
young and the needy were with him, and so were 
those of the rich who had great debts, and whose 
policy it was to carry out the repudiation of their 
liabilities, but by no means to give up their large pro- 
perties. Moreover, as the king had not touched the 
old Constitution, the annual election of ephors could 
be used to upset his reforms. This was in effect done 
with the aid of King Leonidas, who had been brought 
back from exile by the Conservative party. The 
young king, whose military achievements were per- 
haps not remarkable, and who took no care to pro- 
tect himself from legal persecution, was cited before 
the ephors, and took refuge in the temple of Artemis. 
Thence he was treacherously ensnared by some of his 
own companions, and murdered in jail (B.C. 241) by 
order of the ephors, together with his noble mother 
and grandmother who hurried to save him. The 
reader must look for a full account of this most 
pathetic tragedy in Plutarch's Life. His brother was 
exiled, and King Leonidas remained sole master of 
the situation. 

What were the relations of Aratus and of Antigonus 
to this youthful hero ? To both he was a grave 
danger. For if Sparta reasserted its old primacy in 
the Peloponnesus, it was all up with the new-fangled 
federation which was the life-project of Aratus. The 


prestige of Sparta was such, that no Greek city would 
range itself under Achaea, so long as the same advan- 
tages, or even far less of the same kind, could be 
obtained from Sparta. Aratus had no ostensible 
ground for quarrel. Nay rather he was obliged to 
court Agis's alliance against the common enemy which 
Antigonus, their rival for supremacy in the Pelopon- 
nesus, had sent against them. In a great invasion of 
the ALtolians, which reached up to Sparta itself, 
enormous plunder in men and property was carried 
off, doubtless with the deeper object of making the 
young king unpopular. To resist a threatened renewal 
of this invasion, Aratus and Agis agreed to unite 
their forces near the Isthmus, and fight the ^Etolian 
robbers ; but when the armies were encamped together, 
Aratus soon decided that the Spartan king was more 
dangerous to him than the foe. Wherever Agis 
appeared, crowds followed him ; he inspired enthu- 
siasm by his frank and martial air, as well as by the 
high breeding he showed, in comparison with the 
prize-fighter of Sicyon. 1 Above all, the needy and dis- 
contented who had heard of his land schemes and of 
the abolition of debts, hailed him as the reformer of 
the day, the exponent of the new ideas in political 
economy and in law. Nothing could be more dis- 
tasteful to Aratus. Quite apart from the jealous) 
which a smaller nature feels for the hero, apart from 
the contempt which the practical man feels for the 
visionary, Aratus was himself rich, and associated 
with rich people. As we shall see presently, the con- 
stitution of the Achaean League was intended to give 

1 Plutarch specially notes that Aratus's statues had this aspect. 


preponderance to the wealthy. He hoped, moreover, to 
keep his pre-eminence, as much with the foreign gold 
of Egypt, as with his federal army ; and thus paupers, 
and plenty of them, would increase his influence. 
Accordingly he politely declined any further aid from 
Agis, and submitted to defeat and loss in his cam- 
paign in preference to the dangerous rivalry of the 
more attractive and picturesque revolutionary king. 
Antigonus, too, in his last days was relieved of this 
danger, though the loss of Corinth, which he had 
seized and now lost, by stratagem, was serious ; but 
the king was too old to undertake more wars, and 
settled his kingdom in peace, before he died. Let us 
then also pause to describe the constitution of this 
Ach.tan League, which now begins to figure so 
prominently in our history. 




As everybody knows, the configuration of the soil of 
Greece — small valleys or plains separated by sea and 
mountains — isolated the people into small sections. 
The town in each of these cantons became a distinct 
state, so much so that state and city are the same 
word, 7roXt9, in Greek. The whole of Greece was 
therefore separated into small city-states, embracing a 
little territory and some villages. These towns strove 
to be independent and self-supporting, and dealt with 
their petty neighbours as with foreign states, so that 
the treaties between neighbouring Greek towns, such 
as Tegea and Mantinea, Sicyon and Corinth, would 
be distinctly international treaties, however small the 
scale upon which these treaties could be applied. What 
Mr. Grote calls the instinct of autonomy, of managing 
their own affairs, was so deep-set in the Greek mind, 
that all the mischiefs which it produced could not 
wean them from it, till it ruined the whole complex of 
towns called the Greek nation. 

Professor Freeman, in his admirable " History of 
Federal Government," has shown how foreign to these 


people was even the notion of representative govern- 
ment, because each man held it his indelible right to 
go in person to vote and speak when the affairs of his 
town were being discussed. Hence it was only in 
religious matters, such as the sending of delegates 
to the half-yearly religious meetings at Delphi and 
Thermopylae, that such a principle was admitted. 

The rise of great powers like those of Egypt and 
Macedonia, the prevalence of piracy and plunder in 
the terrible Forty- five Years' War, these things first 
taught most of the Greeks that the independence of 
single cities was no longer possible : there remained 
only two practical possibilities. They might put the 
town directly under the control of a power like Mace- 
don, which required the presence of a garrison of its 
own, or a faithful local tyrant with his troops, who 
would repress any republican feelings, or the defection 
by means of a public vote to another power. Secondly, 
they might combine into a Federation, in which no 
city should have the pre-eminence, but in which each 
should still have liberty to manage its internal or com- 
munal affairs ; while as to external policy, war and 
peace, the election of federal officers, and the like, 
all the cities could send their citizens to a common 
centre, and there decide in a joint assembly. This 
latter model, which has ever since commanded the 
admiration of the world, was only to be found in one 
obscure corner of Greece, where four little towns early 
in the century before us, either invented or renewed 
this form of political combination. 1 

1 Let us caution the reader not to confuse with this idea those con- 
federacies under a leading state, such as had existed long before under 



Those who have visited the beautiful northern 
slopes of Mount Erymanthus, where these great 
serrated tops bar all access from the south, and 
when the eye ranges freely over the sapphire-blue 
gulf of Corinth, with all the islands lying seaward 
at its mouth, and with the huge mountains of /Etolia 
lowering on the opposite coast — those who have seen 
from Patras, the site of one of the old members of the 
League, how the land lies, will at once conclude that it 
was against pirates the League was formed ; for attack 
from land is very difficult, if not impossible, whereas 
the deep recesses of the bay are eminently suited for 
pirates' nests, though on the other hand there is time 
from the commanding slopes to see and guard against 
invasion by the hastening of all the neighbours to the 
threatened point. 

Now that the hardy mountaineers had made their 
fortunes in mercenary service, and had moreover 
learned the luxuries of life, we may be sure that their 
homes were not only more exposed, but more tempt- 
ing to plunder, and so we may see special reasons for 
the strengthening of the League. They thought fit, 
about 255 B.C., to abolish the practice of having two 
chief officers, and elected but one, Margos of Keryneia, 
a name more honourable than celebrated in the his- 
tory of the time. 

Athens and Sparta, or under Philip and Alexander. For there the 
whole policy was dictated by a master, and even the internal afiairs of 
the subject confederates were only safe from interference so long as the 
dominant state was otherwise occupied. Thus Alexander ordered the 
reception of all the exiles into their old homes in Greece, though he 
had guaranteed autonomy to the single states which entered his League 
against Persia. 


Mr. Freeman notes that they avoided the mistake 
of making a large city their place of meeting, 
which might easily become a capital, and outbalance 
its neighbours ; nor had they thought of the American 
device of making a political capital apart from all the 
leading cities. Fortunately ^Egion, the most important 
or central town of the original League, which long 
remained their ordinary meeting-place, answered the 
purpose exactly, for though respectable it was insig- 
nificant. Ultimately they decided to meet in the cities 
in turns ; but as they did not send representatives to 
their general-assembly, and every citizen from each 
town had a right to be present, it was necessary on 
the one hand to prevent the city where the meeting 
was held from outvoting the small numbers who came 
from distant cities, and also to make the meetings as 
few and short as was convenient. This was done in 
the following way. 

The ordinary Congress was held at yEgion twice 
a year, and could only last for three days, nor could 
the assembly discuss any topics except those prepared 
for it by the Council, and brought before it as Govern- 
ment proposals. Extraordinary meetings could be 
summoned at other places, and this was not unfre- 
quently done, but only on urgent cause existing. At 
the assemblies the people voted by cities, each city 
casting one vote, by which means thirty or forty men 
coming from the most distant town had their in- 
fluence, and the crowd who were at home had not 
too much. During the rest of the year the Govern- 
ment business was carried on by a Strategos, the 
President or Commander of the League, a Lieu- 


tenant-General, a Master of the Horse, a Chief Sec- 
retary, and a Cabinet Council of ten, who brought 
bills before the assembly, and practically decided on 
the policy of the League. There was also a Senate 
of one hundred and twenty, which seems to have 
been a committee of the whole assembly to discuss 
and prepare bills for the Congress. 

This whole Constitution was clearly intended to 
give preponderance to the wealthy. It is plain that 
however the Council was elected, it must have been 
from men who had means as well as leisure, for we 
hear later on of an offer of money from Attalus to 
be invested that the interest might supply salaries. 
So, also, no obscure or poor man could rise to the 
chief posts, nor could he even hope to live on the 
indirect profits which all Greek politicians had always 
derived from office ; for he could not hold the office of 
Commander two years running, but at most every 
second year— as was the case with Aratus during the 
brilliant period of his life. Whenever the tyrant of 
some city, from principle or from fear, surrendered 
his power and made his city join the League — such as 
Lydiades of Megalopolis or Aristomachus of Argos — 
it was usual out of compliment to make him com- 
mander. Some of these men, especially Lydiades, 
had large notions of reform, and of giving the poorer 
people more power in the League ; some may have 
been of doubtful loyalty. 

At all events, we find Aratus's policy divided be- 
tween conspiracies and threats to new tyrants to join 
the League, and tortuous diplomatic devices to neu- 
tralize their influence when they did join it. He was 


cither a wholly selfish politician, or so antique a Con- 
servative, that he could tolerate no change whatever 
in the League, except its extension ; and even here 
there are reasons to suspect that he avoided including 
Athens when it was possible to do so, merely because 
the literary and philosophical renown of that city, 
and the existence of many philosophical Radicals in 
it, made him apprehend its influence. He knew that 
his first and ablest enemy, Antigonus Gonatas, could 
not last long, and he was only waiting for his death 
to take advantage of the change of rulers, and enlarge 
his League by military force. The rise of Agis in Sparta 
must have greatly terrified him ; but Agis passed 
through the political sky like a meteor, and when 
Antigonus died Aratus at once entered into league 
with the yEtolians to attack Macedonia in Northern 

These /Etolians have only been described to us by 
their enemies. We are told that their League was 
merely an association for plunder, that there was 
no Constitution beyond a half-festive, half-military 
meeting at the capital of the League, Thermus, where 
they kept great state and splendour, and elected a 
commander for coming expeditions, with a salary of 
one-third of the plunder. We find cities as far as the 
Black Sea joining the League, which only means that 
by this act, and the payment of a certain tax, they 
were not indeed saved from all the raids of the rest 
of the League, but allowed to lay their complaint 
before the Government and obtain restitution. More- 
over, if attacked by any foreign power, they could 
appeal for aid, which was sent them ; and this was a 


great gain, for the ^tolians were a very powerful 
military nation at this time, and kept all the Greek 
coasts and islands in alarm. 

The worst and most immoral point, however, about 
this League was that it shared with Ulyrians, Dar- 
danians, and other northern barbarians, the principle 
that each member of the League had a right to go to 
war when it liked ; that if any neighbouring state was 
attacked, any ^Etolian city might join the assailants; 
as they expressed it - that they would as soon take 
yEtolia out of yEtolia as abandon the right to " plunder 
when plunder was going." These ^tolians came to 
power long before the Achasans ; they were a pro- 
minent power in Greece at the death of Alexander, 
and stood out as I have described for the cause 
of freedom. So they did in the Lamian War ; still 
more in the terrible invasion of the Gauls, they may 
be said to have saved Greece. But if they did so 
then, they ruined it afterwards ; for they it was who, 
for their own selfish ends, brought the first Roman 
fleets and armies into Greece. 

In his brilliant chapter on the Constitution of these 
Leagues Mr. Freeman compares them to the Ameri- 
can and older Swiss confederations respectively. He 
shows that the Achaean and American Federations 
were as like as possible for them to be, seeing that 
the one was a union on equal terms of small indepen- 
dent cities, the other of large provinces originally 
dependent on a distant crown. He shows that while 
the Achaean League was more democratic in theory, 
as every citizen was entitled to go and vote at the 
Congress, it became more aristocratic in practice, 


being altogether in the hands of the rich. Though 
the Achaean President was called a General, his 
symbol of office was the Public Seal ; nor was he 
addressed, as was the President of the Lycian League, 
by any such title as Right Honourable (a%Lo\o<y oraTo?). 
In other points the likenesses to our Prime Minister 
and his Cabinet are no less striking. The yEtolian 
League, on the contrary, is to be compared to the 
Swiss Confederacy, consisting not of towns but of the 
cantons of mountaineers, combining for defence, and 
finding their prowess sufficient to acquire subjects or 
new members among Germans and Italians united to 
them in various relations often far from that of equality. 
We have delayed too long upon this question of 
Constitutions. It is important in the remaining his- 
tory of the Empire of Alexander, because it was 
imitated in all directions by all Greek tribes who 
desired to protect themselves from home tyrants or 
foreign masters. Epirus and Acarnania in particular 
adopted it, and we find in Lycia a curious, perhaps 
old reproduction of the principle, differing, however, 
from all the Greek Leagues or Federations in this, 
that the towns composing it had votes differing in 
number according to their population, the largest 
having three, the smallest one vote. 1 Thus they cor- 
rected the flaw in the Achaean League, that if Corinth 
or Megalopolis joined it, these large and populous 
towns only had one vote like the little original ten 
Achaean towns, which had combined, on equal terms 
without any anomaly. 

1 This idea was reproduced by the Emperor Augustus, when he 
renewed and reformed the Amphictyonic Council, and gave all the states 
of Greece votes in it according to his royal favour. 



We are now in a position to resume briefly the 
acts and position of Demetrius II., and define the 
importance of his reign (B.C. 239-229) for the history 
of the empire. Like every new king of Macedonia 
since Philip, he found all his kingdom shattered — 
revolt, invasion, and treason everywhere. He was set 
upon by the Dardanians on the north, by the com- 
bined ^Etolians and Achaeans on the south. He suc- 
ceeded at first in defeating both, but when hard 
pressed a second time hit upon a terrible device. His 
allies the Acarnanians had been so worried by the 
yEtolians, that in despair of help from Demetrius they 
applied for help to Rome, now recovered from the 
exhaustion of the first Punic War, which had closed 
B.C. 241, leaving them with a vast increase of naval 
power, and a position of serious importance to all sur- 
rounding nations. The Senate was long ambitious to 
be recognized by the Hellenistic kingdoms as some- 
thing better than barbarian, and every advance on 
the side of Hellenism had been received with great 
pride and self-conscious sensitiveness. Though they 


had conquered all the Greeks in Italy, and now in 
Sicily, and defeated the greatest Hellenistic captain 
of the day — Pyrrhus — in fair fight, still they felt them- 
selves quite outside the real home of civilization, and 
longed to be recognized as worthy of friendly rela- 
tions with Eastern courts. Their efforts to obtain 
this were positively amusing. When Ptolemy Phila- 
delphus sent to ask their friendship the year after 
Pyrrhus left, they accorded him every honour, and 
what was more, the solid advantage of a free port at 
Puteoli. When the Punic War was over, they were 
sent to Ptolemy Euergetes, hearing he was at war 
with Syria, to offer help, but the war was over. 
Strangely enough, we are told that Ptolemy's oppo- 
nent, Seleucus II., asked them for an alliance, which 
they promised in a reply written in Greek, on the 
condition that he should free from all burdens the 
people of Ilion (Troy), the ancestral relations of the 
Romans. What profound amusement must this letter 
have created in the East ! And how publicly it must 
have been discussed when we find that the Acarna- 
nians appended to their appeal this memorandum, 
that they alone of all the Greeks had not joined in 
the expedition against Troy. How the stupid snob- 
bery of the Romans must have delighted these people 
who believed in no claim beyond Alexander ! 

When the vEtolians, in spite of Rome's warning to 
desist, invaded Acarnania again, Demetrius let loose 
upon them the wild Illyrians, who plundered Epirus, 
defeated the Achaeans and vEtolians, and spread terror 
all through Western Greece. We cannot say why 
these terrible pirates had kept quiet so long, or how 


it was that now they suddenly appear in such power 
on the scene. Unfortunately for themselves, they 
carried their depredations as far as the opposite shore, 
and robbed Italian coasts and ships. Then Rome in- 
terfered in force, humbled Queen Teuta, made subject 
allies of Dyrrachium, Apollonia, and Corcyra, and 
sent polite embassies to Achaeans and yEtolians to 
explain their action, and deprecate any sinister con- 
struction of their interference in Hellenistic affairs. 

So far all was well ; the terrible scourge which had 
threatened Greece was stopped, and the Greek Leagues 
treated the Roman envoys with all distinction ; but 
the cloud in the west was still there, and any good 
prophet might have foretold the coming danger. 
Meanwhile, Demetrius had been so busy with his 
northern wars, that Aratus was able to enlarge greatly 
the League in Southern Greece. Sparta was paralyzed 
by the reaction after Agis's death. Presently (B.C. 229) 
Demetrius II. was killed ; his son, Philip V., was an 
infant, and the usual struggle for the existence of the 
Macedonian throne began. All seemed smooth and 
prosperous for both Achaean and yEtolian Leagues. 
Let us turn at this moment, and see what was doing 
in the Eastern Levant, where, as in Greece, second- 
rate powers were striving to hold in check the danger- 
ous power of Egypt, the claims of Syria, and the 
depredations of their own barbarians the Galatians. 



We left the eastern part of the empire in consider- 
able confusion. Ptolemy Euergetes, after his victo- 
rious campaign in Asia, had occupied Syria up to the 
port of Antioch, had seized possessions in the Levant 
up to Thrace, and, in order to distract permanently 
the attention of his rival Seleucus II., had set up' and 
encouraged the younger brother, Antiochus Hicrax 


to contest the succession. After long and various 
struggles, this latter was conceded the crown of Asia 
Minor, limited by Mount Taurus ; but his ambitious 
and wild nature, ever finding support in the policy of 
Egypt, could not keep at rest. He attacked the Gala- 
tians, and was thoroughly defeated, and his expedi- 
tions so disturbed Asia Minor, that these marauders 
broke loose from their appointed region, and began 


again to plunder and levy black-mail all over the 
Greek cities within their reach. 

It was then (perhaps B.C. 235) that Attalus I., who 
had succeeded to the possession of Pergamum in 241, 
met and vanquished the Galatians in a great battle, 
.which gave him such popularity that he was able to 
assume the title of king, and extend his influence far 
beyond his inherited dominion. He next defeated 
the turbulent Antiochus Hierax, who was killed in 
his flight in Thrace, perhaps on his way to Macedonia. 
When this pretender was gone, it was evidently Euer- 
getes' policy to raise the power of Attalus against 
Syria, and so the court of Pergamum continued to 


flourish till it controlled the larger part of Asia Minor. 
In his long reign this king represented almost as 
much as the King of Egypt, the art and culture of 
Hellenism. His great victory over the Galatians was 
celebrated by the dedication of so many splendid 
offerings to various shrines, that the Pergamene school 
made a -distinct impression upon the world's taste- 
Critics have enumerated seventeen remaining types, 
which appear to have come from statues of that 
time — the best known is the so-called Dying 
Gladiator, who is really a dying Galatian. But quite 



recently the discoveries of Humann at Pergamum 
have brought to light the great frieze round the altar 
of Eumenes II., dedicated to celebrate this and sub- 
sequent victories, and now the history of Greek art 
must include a new chapter on the style and character 
of the Pergamene school. 

Perhaps the literature of the Court was even more 
remarkable. Starting on the model of Alexandria, 
with a great library, Attalus was far more fortunate 
than the Ptolemies in making his university the home 
of Stoic philosophy. Criticism, too, was not behind- 
hand ; and in the next reign, Crates was an expounder 
and recensor of the text of Homer hardly inferior to 
the great Alexandrians, of whom we shall presently 
speak. The amiable character of the royal house, 
whose successions, though generally indirect, 1 were 
marked by no murders and jealousies, seems to have 
given a tone to the society of its capital, and few 
Hellenistic cities bear a more enviable character, not 

1 Here is this very curious genealogy, curious because none of its 
rulers succeeded by murders or banishment of their relatives, as was the 
fashion elsewhere even in direct successions. 

(;) Philetcerus (an of- 
ficer of Lysimachus) 
held Pergamum 283- 



(2) Eumenes L, 
dynast of 


(3) Attalus I., 
king 241-197. 

(4) Eumenes II., (5) Attalus II., 
197-159- 159-138. 



(6) Attalus III., 138-133, when he bequeathed 
his kingdom to the Romans, 


only for art and letters, but for that obscurity as 
regards private life which implies orderly peaceful- 
ness in comfortable homes. 

Indeed its only rival in this respect was Rhodes, 
the great city representing its island since B.C. 408, 
when it was founded by voluntary amalgamation of 
lesser towns. After long and varied conflicts between 
its people, a democracy backed by Athens, and its 
aristocracy, backed in turn by Sparta and Persia, we 
find it already in Alexander's day a republic of im- 
portance, famed for its honour and good conduct. It 
appears to have taken some such place in the marine 
of those days as Hydra did in the Levant of the last 
century — a small rocky island with a safe harbour, a 
vigorous population of adventurous mariners, and so 
high a code of commercial morality that every one 
trusted them with investments, and they acquired 
such wealth as not only to decorate their town with 
handsome buildings and comfortable dwellings, but 
to own considerable property on the adjoining coast. 
Such was the case with Rhodes. The siege by Deme- 
trius showed not only the power but the virtues of 
this merchant aristocracy (see p. 61). They rebuilt 
their shattered city with great magnificence. They 
used the metal of Demetrius's abandoned engines for 
the famous Colossus, a bronze figure of the sun about 
one hundred feet high, which, however, was thrown 
down and broken by the earthquake of B.C. 227, and 
lay for centuries near the quays, the wonder of all 
visitors. 1 It was doubtless during the same period 

1 It is said that the Saracens sold the remnants of this statue for old 
melal when they captured Rhodes. See " The Story of the Saracens," 
chapter xxx. 

(Rhodian work of this period.) 


that Rhodes perfected that system of marine mercan- 
tile law, which was accepted not only by all Hellen- 
istic states, but acknowledged by the Romans down 
to the days of the empire. It is hardly possible that 
the polite interchange of good wishes, which Polybius 
implies as having taken place (B.C. 304) with Rome 
just after the great siege, could have established any 
marine treaty. 1 We do not know what the detail of 
their mercantile system was, except that it was worked 
by means of an active police squadron, which put 
down piracy, or confined it to shipping outside their 
confederacy, and also that their persistent neutrality 
was only abandoned when their commercial interests 
were directly attacked. In every war they appear as 
mediators and peace-makers. There is an allusion in 
the Mercator of Plautus, to young men being sent to 
learn business there, as they are now sent to Ham- 
burg or Genoa. The wealth and culture of the people, 
together with the stately plan of their city, gave much 
incitement and scope to artists in bronze and marble, 
as well as to painters, and the names of a large number 
of Rhodian artists have survived on the pedestals of 
statues long since destroyed. But two famous works 
— whether originals or copies seems uncertain — still 
attest the genius of the school, the Laocoon, now in 
the Vatican, and the Toro Farnese. In literature, 
they rather encouraged and cultivated eloquence and 
poetry, than produced it themselves. Apollonius 
takes his name Rhodius from his long residence there, 
^sthines, the rival of Demosthenes, had long before 

1 This passage (xxx. 5, ed. Hultsch), which historians assume as evi- 
dence for an embassy, does not seem to justify any such inference. 



settled there as a teacher of rhetoric, and down to 
Roman times it was regarded as one of the best places 
to send young men for their education. 1 

At the present juncture Rhodes was determined 
not to allow Euergetes to monopolize the trade and 
dominion of the Eastern .^Egean, and therefore they 
violated their old traditional friendship with Egypt, 
by resisting his further encroachments. All details of 
this war are lost, but the Rhodians evidently got what 
they wanted. It was perfectly well known they would 
only fight as long as their commerce was in jeopardy, 
and would make the easiest and most generous terms 
to preserve peace. So in the following period we find 
them in their glory, and second to none of the smaller 
powers in importance. Indeed their navy made them 
in many respects a first-class power. For though it 
was never very large — seventy-two ships is the largest 
fleet we ever hear of — the efficiency of their sailors 
was such, that they could always contend successfully 
against heavy odds. They had inherited completely 
the naval prestige of Athens in its best days. Like 
the English of the last century, they were afraid of 
nothing on the sea, they delighted in bold adventures 
both of war and of wandering, and so they devoted 
themselves to preserving the balance of power among 
the surrounding kings which would insure their liberty 
and respect. 

Nothing proves Rhodian greatness, or the solidarity 
of the Hellenistic world, more curiously than what 
happened in 227 B.C., when the earthquake almost 

1 Julius Coesar studied elocution here for two years. See " The Story 
of Rome," p. 217. 


(Rhodian School.) 


destroyed their city. They sent around an embassy 
to tell of this calamity, and to solicit subscriptions, or 
rather to demand them in the name of commercial 
credit. It was plain that unless they were set up 
again, the whole trade of the Mediterranean would be 
bankrupt. They may have been bankers for half of the 
trading cities of the Levant. Polybius gives us a list 
of the chief kings and cities who sent them contri- 
butions, which is quite astonishing. It made no differ- 
ence whether they were at war with one another, or 
had been so with Rhodians. Even wars could not be 
carried on without credit, and so all united to set 
Rhodes up again. Seventy-five talents were sent 


from Gelon and Hieron, tyrants in Sicily, to supply 
oil, and ten talents to increase the number of their 
citizens, probably by paying fees of admission for the 
poor, ten talents for sacrifices, fifty catapults — alto- 
gether one hundred talents ; Syracuse was made a 
free port to them, and moreover they set up at Rhodes 
a monument representing the Commonwealth of 
Rhodes crowned by that of Syracuse. Ptolemy 
announced to them a present of three hundred talents 
of silver, an enormous quantity of wheat, materials 
for twenty ships, viz., hewn beams of deal, masts, tow, 
tar, cic, three thousand talents of copper to restore 


the Colossus, four hundred and fifty artizans and their 
pay for a year. The king of Macedonia (it was now 
a new Antigonus) sent one hundred talents of silver, 
and a vast supply of pitch, tar, iron, lead, timber, and 
wheat. The king of Syria sent five five-banked ships 
ready, wood, resin, ropes, and wheat, but instead of 
money granted a freedom of all his ports. The gifts 
of many lesser kings, and of free cities, Polybius says, 
it would be hard to enumerate. 

So, then, the Hellenistic world, besides its unity of 
language, had an unity of Commerce, of which the 
centre was then apparently Rhodes, and the Rhodian 
system must have been fair and generous, or it would 
not have commanded such support. It is remarkable 
that the Rhodians were nevertheless hard masters 
to their subjects on land, especially to the tract of 
Southern Asia Minor (Caria and Lycia), which they 
called the Percea, where they levied very severe taxes. 
A few years later, the king of Pergamum argued at 
Rome that for a free city of Asia Minor to be under 
his direction is far happier than to be left independent, 
and so at the mercy of the Rhodian merchants, who 
could make any terms they liked by stopping its trade. 

We may now leave the East for a while, where 
Seleucus II., killed by a fall from his horse in 226 B.C., 
was succeeded by his son Seleucus III. (Soter), who 
carries on with doubtful success the same struggle, in * 
the East against revolted satraps, in the West against 
the power of Pergamum. Ptolemy Euergetes is 
growing old, and disposed for peace, and so there is 
for the moment no advance of world-problems there, 
while in Macedonia and Greece arise new leaders, and 
a conflict of the most momentous import. 


(B.C. 229-223). 

We left the throne of Macedonia vacant, the Illy- 
rian pirates crushed by the power of Rome, which had 
set foot on the coast of Epirus, the royalty at Sparta 
in the hands of a stupid and selfish Conservatism, the 
free, or would-be free, cities with no policy possible 
save that of joining either the Achaean or the iEtolian 
Leagues, the one offering a fair and attractive Consti- 
tution, the other more active and effective military 
support, with corresponding dangers to those that 
spurned it. If the Achaeans had then possessed an 
able military leader, they might have embraced all 
Greece ; as it was, the struggle with the vEtolians 
would have been more than doubtful ; but the issues 
were altered and widened by the rise of two men, one 
in Macedonia, and one in Sparta, who possessed these 
qualities, and compelled the Leagues to fall back into 
the second place. Let us sketch their advent and 
power in turn. 

When Demetrius was killed, he left everything in 
confusion. The northern barbarians were victorious, 
Thessaly fell away to the yEtolians : Corcyra was in 
the hands of the mighty Romans, who had overthrown 


Carthage in Sicily, and mastered all the Greeks of 
the West save the nominal kingdom of Hiero at 
Syracuse: they had even seized Sardinia and Corsica, 
and when the Carthaginians essayed to create an 
empire in Spain, had ordered them (B.C. 228) to halt 
at the Ebro. Though they had offered apologies to 
the Greeks, it must have been clear to any politician 
that here was a new element of danger, only to be 
met by all the strength of Hellenism put together. 

We know very little of the first years of Antigonus 
Doson ; what we do know shows that he fully under- 
stood, and strove to solve the problem as a matter of 
duty to his country. He was now in the prime of 
life ; son of Demetrius the Fair, who had been slain 
in Cyrene (p. 1 19), and therefore first cousin to the late 
king. Assuming at once the regency, he was so 
scrupulous in guarding the interests of the boy prince, 
Philip, the son of Demetrius II., that he married 
Philip's widowed mother, and postponed his own chil- 
dren deliberately and honestly to Philip's claims. Even 
in his will he had left careful directions for his pro- 
tection. All this shows how far personal ambition 
was from his mind. As well as we can make out, his 
first care was to attack and defeat the ^tolians ; and 
yet he made with them so favourable a treaty, as to 
keep them with sufficient power to rival the Achaeans, 
nor did he fail to set them on to make further con- 
quests in Peloponnesus. Elis was always their ally ; 
they now advanced further, and presently Mantinea, 
a new member of the League, revolted from the 
Achaeans. Leaving, then, these rival interests at war, 
and perceiving that the . Romans intended for the 


present no further advance, he was bold enough to 
seize possessions in Caria, probably with the conni- 
vance or advice of the Rhodians and free cities of 
Asia Minor, who still dreaded the supremacy of 
Egypt- Thus he passed by the outlying Egyptian 
posts in Thrace, and effected a hold upon the coast 
from whence he could directly threaten Egypt. This 
he did evidently for the purpose of paralyzing this 
resource of help, when he advanced against Athens 
and the Peloponnesus. Egypt had always assisted 
them against him, and it was at Cos, off this coast, 
that his great namesake Gonatas had decided the last 
war with Athens in his favour (p. 118). We do not 
know what means Euergetes took to oppose him, but 
there seems a curious decay in the activity of this 
once mighty conqueror in his later years. With all 
his power he seems going asleep, and does nothing in 
the way of diplomacy beyond paying subsidies now 
to one, now to another, of the warring powers. 

The firm and wise action of Antigonus Doson soon 
re-established the power of Macedonia, and so he was 
able to begin the campaign he had nearest his heart, 
the reduction of all Greece under his power, especially 
the Achaean League. We may be sure that he would 
have subdued the ^Etolians last, and then have been 
prepared to offer a firm front to the Romans ; but just 
at this time, when he had been two years king, arose 
the most dangerous complication that any man could 
have to face, a young man of genius in the very 
position where that genius could have full scope. 

After the death of Agis, his brother had been exiled, 
and the other king Leonidas, the chief of the Conser- 


vative reaction, led affairs back into their old condition, 
poverty, debts, discontent, despair, and the subjects 
were kept down by the strict surveillance of the 
ephors. Yet their watch was not well kept, they 
allowed a certain Stoic philosopher, Sphaeres, to teach 
his doctrine and write books on sovrantry and the 
antiquities of Spartan policy, which evidently attracted 
and stimulated the better and sounder youth. Leoni- 
das had insisted on the widow of Agis marrying his 
own son, the youthful Cleomenes, that she and her 
infant son might be under control, yet it was probably 
she, more than Sphaerus, who converted the king's son 
to the theories of Agis, to great reverence for his 
purity and self-sacrifice, and profound pity for his 
tragic end. No quality was, however, stronger in 
Cleomenes than patience. While maturing his plans 
he kept on terms of filial respect with his father, of 
obedience to the ephors. 

Succeeding to the throne in 227 B.c, he at first gave 
all his attention to military matters, and to rendering 
the army thoroughly efficient. He soon showed him- 
self a thorough general, and more than able for any 
opponent in the Peloponnesus. His difficulty was 
not only to urge the ephors to war with the Achaean 
League, but to be permitted to carry it on till he had 
endeared himself to the soldiers, created a body of 
mercenaries faithful to him, and shown the cities of 
Argos and Arcadia that he was a better friend than 
Aratus or the yEtolians. The ephors, on the other 
hand, were exceedingly jealous of his successes, and 
more than once recalled him when he was on the 
point of making important conquests. During this 


early period, or first two years of his reign, his step- 
son, the child of Agis, died suspiciously, and the 
brother of Agis, who was living in exile, when invited 
home by him, was forthwith murdered, thus leaving 
him the sole heir of both the royal houses of Sparta. 
We are unable to discover whether, with all his high 
qualities, Cleomenes did not promote their deaths, 
as necessary to the policy he afterwards disclosed ; or 
whether his enemies the oligarchy did not compass 
them, for some hope of weakening his power by the 
odium they produced ; or whether they did not 
happen, the one from natural causes, the other from 
some private quarrel. The ancients were divided 
into enthusiastic admirers of Cleomenes, or of his rival 
Aratus, and decided according to this bias. We are 
disposed to side with those who acquit the king of all 
such charges, seeing that his life was one not only of 
noble self-devotion, but of extraordinary patience in 
waiting for the right moment to launch his schemes. 

The action of Aratus, on the other hand, was 
distinctly that of a weak and jealous man, who felt 
unable, and therefore was afraid, to meet Cleomenes 
in battle, who not only sacrificed noble colleagues like 
Lydiades, by leaving them unsupported in action, but 
betrayed the interests of the League over and over 
again to maintain himself in power. What astonishes 
us most is the forbearance, or rather the obstinate 
weakness, of the Achaeans for Aratus, whom they not 
only re-elected every second year as Commander 
(continuous re-election being forbidden), but allowed 
him to hamper and thwart the Commander of the 
alternate years. It is plain that there was a great 


fear among the propertied classes of radical changes 
in the constitution of the League. The schemes of 
Agis show that abolition of debts and redistribution 
of lands were in the air ; pauperism was showing its 
hideous face beside the accumulated wealth of the 
day, and there were eager crowds in every city 
anxious to invade the privileges of the favoured few. 
It is one of the clearest proofs of the aristocratic 
character of the League, that the party of Aratus 
were for so many years able to thwart this feeling, 
though their external policy was in consequence of it 
wretchedly weak and disgraceful. They were evi- 
dently protecting their home interests at the cost of 
everything else, and we are disposed to guess that 
the actual men who managed this miserable diplo- 
macy were old men, who believed that in wiliness 
and scheming lay the virtues, which are really the 
outcome of broad and straightforward views. Aratus 
was indeed not old in years, but an old statesman, 
and his way of managing affairs would recommend 
itself to old men. He always avoided pitched 
battles, but managed surprises by stealth and cor- 
ruption. He avoided public discussion, and came to 
the assemblies with everything settled beforehand by 
cliques and caucuses. 

At last Cleomenes was ready for his coup (Te'tat. 
In the year 226 B.C., possibly having learned that 
the oligarchy were preparing to get rid of him, he 
managed to leave all his Spartan troops, whom he 
had wearied with long marches in garrison, about 
Orchomenos and Mantinea, and marched with his 
mercenaries straight for Sparta. He had been taught 


by the fall of Agis that constitutional proposals 
would not only be thwarted by the aristocracy, but 
would result in his own ruin, so he chose a bolder 
course. Marching in towards night, to give an 
account to the ephors of his campaigns, he ordered 
his advanced guard to set upon and slay them forth- 
with. One only, left for dead, escaped to a temple. 
The few who rushed to their aid were slain also, and 
the city occupied. Next morning when the people 
were summoned to the assembly, they found all the 
ephors' official chairs overthrown, save one, which 
Cleomenes intended to occupy. He declared to the 
people that he had abolished the usurpers of the 
Spartan throne, and would now proclaim a new con- 
stitution for the citizens, with abolition of debts and 
distribution of lands. Thus the sole king of Sparta 
became a military despot, in fact a tyrant except for 
this, that he was the lawful heir to the ancient throne. 
His reforms were actually carried out, but the details 
are lost. He obtained by them not only a body of 
four thousand citizen infantry, whom he armed as a 
Macedonian phalanx, abandoning the old Spartan 
tactics, but he brought upon his side all the radical 
party in the Peloponnesus. His monarchy had a 
democratic basis ; it proclaimed the abolition of a 
rich aristocracy, and the generous treatment of the 
poor. Thus, in many ages and various societies, has 
a king become powerful by advocating the cause of 
the people against the aristocracy. He had by him 
as his constant adviser Sphaerus, the Borysthenite, 
whose teaching of Stoical doctrines we have already 
noticed; and Plutarch, in his parallel between the two 


revolutionary kings of Sparta and the Gracchi, does 
not fail to bring out this among many curious 
analogies. Blossius of Cumse played the part of 
Sphaerus in Rome. 

The picture we have of Cleomenes as king is 
peculiarly charming. Far removed by his Spartan 
traditions from the ostentation of a Demetrius, the 
splendour of a Ptolemy, in fact from the semi- 
oriental luxury of all the Hellenistic courts, he was 
perfectly simple in his habits, affable to all that 
sought him, full of grace and high breeding in his 
manners, and exceedingly stirring and practical in 
the control of affairs. He had that ineffable charm 
about him which is the apanage of a splendid ancestry, 
and which is very rarely attained by any upstart 
monarch. He even relaxed, for hospitality's sake, the 
strictness of his fare, which was Spartan on principle, 
saying that he must not laconize too strictly with 
strangers. He even countenanced dramatic repre- 
sentations. He was the idol of the people and the 
army. No wonder, then, that he soon began to make 
such way against Aratus, as to make it plain who 
would presently be lord of all the Peloponnesus. 



ARATUS saw clearly that by himself he was lost; 
the League was evidently threatening to go to pieces, 
if he did not find some means of counteracting 
Cleomenes. He still drew his pension from Egypt, 
but, as we have noticed, the policy of that kingdom 
was gone to sleep, and he could expect from that 
quarter no help sufficient or effectual to save him. 
The yEtolians seemed to be on some terms of under- 
standing with Cleomenes ; they ceded to him quietly 
three towns in Arcadia which had joined their 
League. Polybius even suggests that there was a 
secret alliance ; but in the whole struggle they never 
once interfered actively, a very strange fact for so 
thoroughgoing and active a body. The real solution 
seems to be that they were kept quiet by Antigonus, 
who was awaiting the chance of interference by 
allowing a crisis to come on in Southern Greece. 
This was not long in maturing. 

The town of Megalopolis, nearest to Sparta of the 
League, was in most danger, and had frequently been 
exposed to loss of territory and siege from Cleomenes. 
Aratus got this town to propose an embassy to Anti- 


gonus for protection, in case the League was unable 
to afford it. Such a several action in foreign policy 
was totally at variance with the first principles of the 
Federation, or indeed of any Federation, and we shall 
see that it was through this violation of principle 
that the Romans ultimately destroyed the League. 
Aratus, who was probably unable to persuade the 
assembly to approach their old foe directly, succeeded 
in getting this separate mission allowed. Shortly 
after, when another man, Hyperbatos, was Com- 
mander (B.C. 224), Cleomenes won another decided 
victory over the Achaeans at Hecatombaeon, who 
lost severely in booty and prisoners. It is quite pos- 
sible that Aratus may have been secretly content at 
the slaughter of his fellow-citizens, for it decidedly 
hastened the completion of his policy. However, 
the demands of Antigonus, which were now repeated, 
were very difficult to satisfy ; for he would not inter- 
fere without the possession of Corinth, the key of 
the Peloponnesus, and how could the Corinthians, 
free members of the League, who had been saved by 
Aratus himself, tolerate such a proposal. 

Meanwhile Cleomenes sent very different offers to 
the League. He only wanted hegemony, a military 
leadership, which had long since been voted to 
Ptolemy in return for his subsidy. He sent back 
many of his prisoners. The League was summoned 
to Lerna to meet him, and would certainly have 
nominated him, when a sudden illness, a violent 
haemorrhage, laid him postrate. Never was there a 
more splendid chance for a great man more clearly 
lost by an accident for when he had slowly recovered, 


and sent to renew the discussion at Argos, Aratus 
had found time to pull the strings and neutralize his 
opponent's influence. He offered him such insulting 
conditions of conference (forbidding the king's troops 
to approach Argos, and offering hostages for his 
security), that Cleomenes, in bitter impatience, broke 
off the parley with an angry public letter accusing 
Aratus of treachery and treason, and again declared 
war against the League. We may nevertheless 
wonder that this great man, who had shown such 
patience in earlier years, did not submit to disagree- 
able conditions to gain his point. Probably he 
mistrusted his own safety, or had ascertained that 
Aratus had secured the vote against him. At such 
a special meeting, called soon after another special 
meeting, the bulk of the poorer voters would not 
attend, and the decision would lie in the hands 
of Aratus's rich friends. 

In the war that ensued the whole League went to 
pieces. Cleomenes captured cities on the Achaean 
coast, others revolted to him, even Argos'and Corinth ; 
^igion, Sicyon, and the Acropolis of Corinth, were 
the only strongholds which remained to Aratus. He 
applied, or professed to apply, to Athens and ^Etolia 
for help. Cleomenes was besieging Sicyon, he was 
cut off from the citadel. Although he had assumed 
dictatorial power, and behaved with considerable 
cruelty, it availed him nothing. At last he brought 
the rest of the League (Megalopolis and the original 
Achaean towns except PalleneJ to such a pitch that, 
at a formal meeting at .^Lgion, they besought him to 
call in Antigonus. With this plea he excused himself 



in his memoirs. He could not even be an honest 
traitor. We may well imagine the rage of the Corin- 
thians. They summoned Aratus to a conference to 
explain his conduct. He came with fair words, and 
besought the assembly to keep quiet ; then seeing his 
personal danger, escaped on horseback before they 
could seize him. His large possessions at Corinth, 
granted to him as the successful deliverer of the 
city, were forthwith confiscated and handed over to 
Cleomenes. Antigonus was only waiting to advance 
and seize his prey — the Acro-Corinthus ; but Cleo- 
menes barred the isthmus with his army, so that 
the advance by land was impossible. The sea, 
however, was open to the Macedonian, though 
he seems to have been very slow to take ad- 
vantage of it, and Ptolemy, who was supplying 
Cleomenes with money, sent no fleet to support 
him. It is very likely, though our authorities 
are silent about it, that the whole of Antigonus's 
available fleet was off the Carian coast, watching 
Egypt, and ready to fight any relieving squadron 
sent out. Thus Antigonus may have been really 
unable to transport his large army across even a 
narrow bay. Had he done so, the issue would pro- 
bably have been different. Meanwhile, the citadel of 
Corinth was being held against the town and the 
army of Cleomenes by Aratus's garrison. Antigonus, 
who had advanced in great haste, was already in per- 
plexity for want of provisions, when the decisive move 
was played by Aratus, inducing his partizans in 
Argos, whom the generous Spartan had neither exe- 
cuted or banished, to revolt from the Spartan alliance, 


and besiege the Spartan garrison in their citadel. 
Argos, as will be seen in the map, lay behind Cleo- 
menes, and with Sicyon to aid it could cut off his 
retreat. 1 He at once sent a detachment to support 
his garrison, but it was defeated, and its leader slain, 
and he had no course left but to abandon the isthmus 
and retire, saving his troops at Argos, and marching 
in perfect order to the south. 

Antigonus was thus master of the situation, and 
acted accordingly. Aratus and his friends, though 
treated with external courtesy, were obliged to see 
the statues of tyrants which they had overthrown set 
up again, and those of patriots which they had set up 
overthrown. They had to tolerate garrisons where 
Antigonus chose to put them, and to undertake the 
support of his large, and no doubt insolent, army. 
Such was the master whom the wretched traitor 
Aratus had substituted for the generous Cleomenes ; 
who was like a Free Trader dealing with Protectionists 
— all his acts of generosity and candour were utilized 
without thanks, and turned against him without any 
scruples whatever. 

We should have expected that Antigonus would 
advance at once, and finish the war by an active 
campaign against Sparta itself, but we find that he 
did no such thing. This and the next summer (B.C. 
222) he spent in ordering the Northern Peloponnesus, 

1 In this complicated campaign the contending parties were at this 
moment sandwiched as follows : Antigonus at the isthmus facing the 
army of Cleomenes, with whom were the Corinthians. Behind Cleo- 
menes the citadel of Corinth was held by the Achreans in Antigonus's 
interest. Further south Argos had just gone over to Antigonus's side, 
besieging in its turn Cleomenes' garrison in the citadel of Argos. 


keeping there a sufficient army only to guard his 
fortresses, and allowing Cleomenes to make many 
brilliant and successful raids. In one of these he 
actually captured Megalopolis, and generously sum- 
moned the population which had fled to Messene to 
return and accept his alliance. In this policy he was 
opposed by Philopcemen, a young citizen then heard 
of for the first time, who rose to be leader of the 
Achaean League. Cleomenes was obliged to plunder 
the city, and make it as harmless as he could without 
being able to hold it. Antigonus and Aratus tolerated 
this possibly because Megalopolis was full of ardour 
and loyalty to the democratic interests of the League, 
and maintained a strong philosophic spirit keenly 
opposed to the temporizing craft of Aratus. If the 
facts be indeed so, how infamous the character of 
Aratus ! On the other hand, Mantinea, which had 
twice revolted from the League, was captured by 
Antigonus, and treated with a savage cruelty quite 
beyond the ordinary laws of war — here, too, with the 
sanction of Aratus, who refounded it under the name 
of Antigoneia. If there be no excuse for Aratus, it is 
evident as regards Antigonus that he was playing his 
game elsewhere. He reduced, during his two years 
of inaction in the Peloponnese, his forces to the 
minimum which would keep the Spartan army on foot, 
and urged against them the Achaean League, who on 
their side expected that he would fight their battles ; 
but he knew that by protracting the war he must wear 
out Cleomenes' resources, and that for want of funds 
the Spartan must in the end give up the contest. For 
this purpose he seems to have set in motion every 


device possible to weaken Egypt, and so force Ptolemy 
to abandon the subsidizing of Sparta. 

The East had again been thrown into confusion by 
the murder of the young king Seleucus Soter (III.), who 
was warring in Asia Minor to recover his possessions 
from the usurpation of Attalus. He left an infant son, 
who was proclaimed king for a moment ; but the troops 
called upon Antiochus, younger brother of the dead 
king, to assume the throne, when it was refused by 
his uncle Achaeus, who had accompanied the troops 
against Attalus, and now took up the campaign with 
great vigour, recognizing his second nephew as king. 
Indeed Achaeus very soon recovered all the territory 
won by Attalus, took the great fortress of Sardis, and 
even besieged Pergamum. The new Antiochus (III.), 
who was living as regent in Babylon, left the eastern 
provinces of Media and Persia under the control of 
two trusted officers, Molon and Alexander, delegated 
to Achaeus the rule in Asia Minor, and established 
himself in Antioch with the open determination of at 
once attacking the Egyptian possessions in Coele, 
Syria. In his first campaign Antiochus was checked 
by Egyptian garrisons in the strong passes, and re- 
turned to Antioch. Polybius speaks of his being 
under the influence of a sort of vizier, the Carian 
Hermeias, who jealously excluded other advisers, and 
urged him incessantly to war against Egypt. Very 
likely this Carian was acting in Antigonus's interest. 
His schemes were thwarted by the revolt of the two 
officers Molon and Alexander, in the eastern pro- 
vinces, who defeated the first expedition sent against 
them, so that Antiochus himself was obliged to turn 


eastward, much against the will of Hermeias, who felt 
forced to go with the king to keep himself in power, 
and to exclude all rivals at the court. The conquests 
of Achaeus more than counterbalanced this check — 
Attalus, Egypt's ally in Asia Minor, was almost 
crushed, Antigonus held part of Caria. 

We may be sure that active negotiations were 
going on between Macedonia and Egypt, and that 
one of Antigonus's chief objects was to force Ptolemy 
to give up his ally Cleomenes. Perhaps, indeed, it 
was part of the arrangement to postpone a decisive 
battle in Greece. At all events, with these rising 
dangers from Syria, and apparently with the conces- 
sion of Caria by Macedonia, Ptolemy was at last per- 
suaded to send word to Cleomenes that he had better 
settle with Antigonus, for that he need no longer 
expect support from Egypt. It is said that Cleo- 
menes, who was quite prepared for this result, and 
had ships prepared at Gythium, the nearest port to 
Sparta, to carry him and his friends away, determined 
to fight one great battle before he abandoned his 
kingdom. If all this account be true, we may rather 
wonder that the prudent and practical Antigonus 
should have attacked him, and risked a great defeat, 
when he had the game so completely in his hands. 
Yet this is what happened. In July, B.C. 221, Anti- 
gonus, marching with a large army which even in- 
cluded Ulyrians, whom he obtained by alliance with 
Demetrius of Pharos, of notoriety in Roman history, 
found Cleomenes in a strong position defending the 
defile, which leads down one of the river courses run- 
ning to the Eurotas, near Sellasia. The Spartan 


army occupied the heights on both sides of the 
narrow valley, and the right bank was held by the 
king's brother Eucleidas, on so steep a height that 
attack seemed hopeless. Yet it was here that the 
Illyrians, actively supported by Philopoemen and the 
Achaeans, who charged the centre in the valley of the 
river, defeated the enemy and carried the heights. If 
we are rightly informed, Eucleidas, on his steep hill, 
made the same mistake as that of Sir G. Colley on 
Majuba hill against the Boers. He stood so strictly 
on the defensive that he allowed the enemy to scale 
the height without disconcerting them by an active 
offensive movement. As it was, our Achaean authority, 
Polybius, pretends that but for Philopoemen's en- 
treaties to be allowed to charge the centre, the battle 
had been lost. When Cleomenes saw his left wing 
gone, nothing remained for him but to throw himself 
on the enemy, whose principal strength was massed 
against him. His attack failed, and he escaped with 
a few friends from the bloody field. Coming to 
Sparta, he advised submission to Antigonus, rested 
himself but a few moments leaning against a pillar, 
and took ship with his friends for Egypt. 

The reader will not fail, it is hoped, to consult the 
closing chapters of Plutarch's Life of the hero, touch- 
ing beyond description, showing how he was received 
in Egypt, first with indifference, then with gradually 
growing admiration, by Ptolemy, who saw in him the 
means for future victories ; but the old king died just 
now, and his son, a young fool, left all public affairs 
to narrow and jealous ministers, who feared and dis- 
liked Cleomenes, and finally persuaded the king to 


put him under arrest as dangerous. Then he broke 
loose with his twelve companions, and called the 
Alexandrians to liberty. The people stared at him, 
and perhaps laughed — they hardly knew the mean- 
ing of the word ; so having failed to force the prison, 
where he doubtless had more friends, these noble 
visionaries committed suicide together, a resource 
their master Sphasrus had probably often recom- 
mended to those whose life was a failure. The 
mother and children were murdered by way of ven- 
geance by the Egyptians ; and so disappears the best 
and worthiest member of one of the oldest and most 
splendid royalties on record. He was practically the 
last king of Sparta. 

The victory of Antigonus at Sellasia was disturbed 
by the news that Illyrian tribes had broken into 
Macedonia, and he hurried away — not, however, with- 
out setting the Peloponnesus in order by establishing 
a League of which he was the head, and to which all 
subscribed at once except the Eleans. Sparta, under 
its old oligarchy, had, moreover, a Bceotian officer ap- 
pointed as its superintendent. Antigonus found the 
marauders in his kingdom ; he immediately gave 
battle, and defeated them completely ; but the exer- 
tions and shouting of commands caused him to burst 
a blood-vessel, and he died immediately after his vic- 
tory. Thus this great man was carried off in the 
early years of his maturity, 1 and just when he had ap- 
parently succeeded in all his designs. He had done 
what no one had ever accomplished before ; he had 

1 Our authorities speak of his failing health, and how he had foreseen 
and provided for his death by a careful will. 



kept the ^Etolians quiet or powerless for nine years ; 
he had got rid of his only dangerous enemy in Cleo- 
menes ; all the Peloponnesus would soon be under 
his absolute control ; Athens and JEtoYia. must follow ; 
already he had relations with the Illyrians. Thus he 
could have made a bulwark which might have resisted 
what all the East saw coming with dread — an invasion 
of the Romans. 


221 B.C. 

POLYBIUS chose the year 221 B.C. for the opening 
of his great history of the civilized world, because, in 
his opinion, it marked a curious turning-point in the 
affairs of men. Several of the greatest monarchs of 
the world died at that time — Antigonus Doson, 
Ptolemy Euergetes, Cleomenes ; Antiochus III. of 
Syria was only just come to the throne, a mere youth ; 
and other inexperienced youths, Ptolemy Philopator 
and Philip V., ascended the vacant thrones. To those 
who expected a Roman invasion it must now have 
seemed inevitable, and at this time they could have 
conquered the Empire of Alexander with no difficulty. 
But suddenly there arose for them too the cloud in 
the west ; Hannibal was before Saguntum, and 
crossed the Ebro, and for the next twenty years they 
were struggling for bare existence against the mighty 
Carthaginian. So then the interference of Rome was 
stayed, and Hellenistic life was allowed another gene- 
ration of development. 

Yet it seems as if its natural period were drawing 
to a close. Egypt, so brilliant in her first three kings, 
produces nothing more upon her throne than fools 


and debauchees, at best pedants. Macedonia, with 
her splendid line of Antigonid kings, all sacrificing 
every energy to the largest patriotism, descends to a 
selfish tyrant and a penurious fool. Syria produces, 
indeed, her Antiochus the Great, with his far-reaching 
campaigns and early activity ; but in middle life his 
power seems gone, and he falls before the Romans in 
a single sham battle. The chief glory of Hellenism 
falls to the secondary powers, not only Rhodes and 
Pergamum, but to the many free Greek cities like 
Byzantium and Cos, and even to the kings or dynasts 
who occupied kingdoms reaching from real Greece to 
the pure East. The kings of Bithynia, Cappadocia, 
and Pontus built Hellenistic capitals, set up Hellen- 
istic art, and cultivated Hellenistic letters. Even the 
savage Galatians, like the rude and barbarous ^Etolians 
in Greece, spent their plunder in adorning and beau- 
tifying their capital, and acquired some knowledge of 
the current idiom of the world. 

We do not meet any deep reassertion of Oriental 
nationality till we reach the kingdom of Atropatene, 
in Northern Media, now seized by the Arsacids, who 
dated their advent with the year 250 B.C., when they 
successfully revolted from Antiochus Theos, and, as 
the Parthian monarchy, were long the mainstay of 
Orientalism against the inroads of the West. Yet 
even to them Greek artists wandered, and were under- 
stood, and far beyond them were still in Bactria 
dynasts with Greek coinage and Hellenistic tradi- 
tions. We have seen how the Roman senate zealously 
affected to belong to the same great unity — an unity 
so like the " European culture " of to day ; and we can 


imagine with what anxious care the Greek letter to 
Seleucus II., with its absurd reference to Ilium, was 
read and re-read by those who posed as Greek 
scholars at Rome, lest a solecism might betray the 
vulgar upstart. If the eastern limit of Hellenism was 
therefore the rising Parthia, in the West it reached as 
far as Carthage, whose Semitic origin had stamped 
upon it an indelible contrast to the Greeks, deepened 
by centuries of commercial jealousies. Possibly even 
in Carthage there may have been more Hellenism 
than we imagine. The innumerable spoils in art and 
slaves which they carried off from Sicily cannot but 


have affected the Punic merchant-princes. Yet we 
hear of Hannibal conferring with Scipio (before the 
battle of Zama) through an interpreter — nowhere in 
his campaigns do we hear of his speaking Greek. 

This common language, then, was the largest bond 
of all the civilized world ; next to it the wide exten- 
sion of commerce whose objects ranged from the silk 
of China to the silver of Spain, from the polar bear of 
Siberia to the tropical rhinoceros. Trade routes from 
Ceylon and the Ganges to the Mediterranean were 
the constant preoccupation of Syrian and Egyptian 


kings, and more than one war was waged for the sake 
of these communications which were the source of 
enormous wealth. Unfortunately, with the increase 
in the quantity of precious metals, and the oppor- 
tunities of gaining great fortunes, came the contrast 
of pauperism, and we know that Antioch and Alex- 
andria had their hungry, desperate mobs, just like 
Paris and London. In Greece we saw that the Land 
question, so familiar to us in the Rome of the 
Gracchi and in modern Europe, was in full agitation. 
We may be sure that the leaders of the poor did not 
fail to make use of the arguments of the Stoics, aris- 
tocratic though these philosophers were, to show that 
all men were equal before God, and therefore entitled 
to the same rights and privileges ; but they were not 
represented by literature, which was all in the pay of 
princes, and so we only hear indirectly of such an 
agitation when a king like Agis takes the side of the 

It is remarkable, but not surprising, that in none of 
the new centres of culture, except perhaps Alexandria, 
did there spring up any really original and vigorous 
literature. Such a growth must come fresh from the 
bosom of the people itself, and can only come in the 
language which expresses all the history of that 
-people's growth. This had been eminently the case 
with older Greek literature ; but in the new Hellenistic 
centres Greek was after all an artificial plant, univer- 
sally cultivated for purposes of trade and intercourse, 
but for that purpose only. As well might we have 
expected original French literature from the courts 
and courtiers of Germany, Poland, and Russia, be- 


cause for a century back they spoke that language 
constantly and familiarly. There was no want, indeed, 
of new books in such seats of learning as Pergamum 
or Alexandria, Rhodes or Tarsus. So at Athens the 
heads of the schools poured out floods of tracts upon 
the world ; but these books were not literature in 
its high and pure sense. The Alexandrian literati 
affected to compose in all styles and metres. Every 
learned man ought to be able, they thought, to 
write tragedies, lyric poems, hexameters, epigrams, 
and in various dialects. This is the case even with 
Theocritus, who has a true vein of poetry. They 
spent their time, too, in angry literary disputes, in 
satires and lampoons, in minute and trivial criticisms. 
The coteries of the museum at Alexandria were pro- 
bably quite as narrow as those of the Oxford and 
Cambridge Dons now-a-days. There was the same 
weighing of syllables, the same mania for emenda- 
tions, the same glory to be obtained by this barren 
ingenuity which lays exclusive claim to the grand 
title of scholarship ; but then the field was new, and 
a great harvest to be reaped. The studies of Aris- 
tarchus were indeed an epoch in human letters, and 
his perfecting of the method of his predecessors in 
ascertaining the true words of an ancient author has 
probably saved for us the great body of the older 
Greek poets. For by the school of Aristarchus, 
though they naturally began with Homer — the 
Bible of the Greeks, all the other old masters, 
Hesiod, Pindar, Aristophanes, Sophocles, were not 
only amended and purified, but explained ; and it 
is to these commentaries, composed while there 


was yet a living tradition of the sense, that we owe 
our understanding of innumerable riddles of vocabu- 
lary and allusion, otherwise insoluble. Any reader 
who desires to prove this may do so by examining 
the scholia on Aristophanes the comic poet, derived 
at second or third hand from the Alexandrians. 

With the taste for the novel and for the story of 
personal adventures which has been noted above (p. 
146) came in also the habit of personal memoirs, such as 
those of Aratus and of sundry Ptolemies, from which 
the historians drew the piquant details which we so 
enjoy in Plutarch, who has drawn freely from these 
writers. Hence it is that this historian has had an 
influence on the world so much greater than Thucy- 
dides. He is biographical, personal, modern, and 
does not disdain those details which earlier historians 
thought beneath the dignity of their subject. There 
was at this epoch a great delight, too, in antiquities as 
such, in the research of old traditions and origins — a 
study never popular till a nation has grown tired, and 
looks back upon its youth to distract its disgust and 
weariness with the present. 

These researches, together with the larger famili- 
arity men attained with various religions or cults, 
led to an interest in the philosophy of religion, 
and so naturally to advanced scepticism, which was 
backed up by the philosophical scepticism of the 
schools. These were so indifferent about what re- 
ligion they believed ; kings were so tolerant of all 
faiths ; that people soon began to think them a mere 
fashion, and this advanced scepticism found its most 
famous expression in the work of Euemerus of Mes- 


sene {circ. B.C. 306), who boldly asserted that all the 
gods were but deified men, and all faith but the effect 
of the knave working upon the fool. How fashionable 
this book must have been is proved by its translation 
into Latin by Ennius, while Rome was yet far from 
such an attitude. Had a Roman composed such a 
work, he would certainly at that date (B.C. 200) have 
been driven from the state with execration ; but the 
Romans would tolerate anything Greek, as authorized 
by all civilized peoples. 

Perhaps the developments of positive science were 
the most striking feature of all in this complex world. 
Medicine, surgery, botany, as well as pure mathe- 
matics and mechanics, made great strides. We read 
with astonishment in Athenaeus the account of the 
gigantic ships which were built at Syracuse and at 
Alexandria to hold kings and their courts, and convey 
all the delights and luxuries of a palace and a park 
over the water. Presently we come upon Archimedes, 
and his wonderful defence of Syracuse (B.C. 212), 
which shows us that in all its applications, mechanics 
had attained a condition not despicable even for our 
modern science. 



The reader may now study to advantage the 
following table of chronology for the generation 
before us : 

Pergamum and Rhodes. 
Attalus reigning since 241 B.C. 

War of Rhodes and Byzantium 

219 B.C. 

Attalus joins ^Etolians and 
Romans against Philip 

211 B.C. 

Macedonia and Greece. 

Philip V ace. 220 B.C. 

War of the Leagues begins. De- 
metrius of Pharos conquered 
by Romans 219 B.C. 

Peace between the Leagues 

217 B.C. 

Treaty of Philip with Hannibal 

215 B.C. 

War with /Etolians and Romans 
211 B.C. 

Peace with ^Etolians and Attalus 
206 B.C. 





rto'emy IV. (Philopator) 

ace. 221 B.C. 

Battle of Raphia ... 217 B.C. 
Death of Ptolemy ... 204 B.C. 

Antiochus III. ... ace. 222 B.C. 

Insurrection of Media and Persia 

Battle of Raphia ... 217 B.C. 

Capture ot Achseus at Sardis 

213 B.C. 

Eastern campaigns... 212-7 B - c - 

Conquest of Arabia ... 206 B.C. 


Conquest of Demetrius of Illyria 
by ^Emilius — Capture of Sa- 
guntum by Hannibal 219 B.C. 

Hannibal crosses the Alps 

218 B.C. 

Thrasimene 217 B.C. 

Cannae 216 B.C. 

Treaty with ^Etolians... 211 B.C. 

Scipio crosses to Africa 204 B.C. 

We may take up Antiochus "the Great" first, as he 
was the first of the new generation of kings to suc- 
ceed, and was actively engaged in putting down the 
Eastern revolt of Molon and Alexander, and in threat- 
ening war against Egypt for the possession of Ccele- 
Syria, when the others came to the throne. We have 
mentioned (p. 213) his first failure against Ptolemy, 
and the anxiety of his vizier Hermeias to hurl him 
against Egypt, probably at the instigation of Anti- 
gonus ; but the revolt of the " Upper provinces" became 
so serious that the king himself was obliged to turn 


eastward. Here we find how deeply the Seleucid 
house had impressed the legitimacy of its power upon 
the eastern populations. Molon had easily defeated 
Antiochus's generals ; he seemed on the point of 
establishing a new independent kingdom like Atro- 
patene and Bactria, but on the appearance of An- 
tiochus his soldiers deserted him, and went over to 
their lawful sovereign. The crime of treason by 
pretending to the crown was regarded as the most 
heinous of offences, and these insurgents had only 
their choice between suicide and death by torture, 
which was regarded as lawful in this case ; as it was in 
the Middle Ages. In fact, the divine right of kings 
was even more ostentatiously put forward in Hellen- 
istic days, for as it was usual to pay divine honours to 
the king himself, revolt seemed a direct act of sac- 
rilege. Thus the body of Molon was gibbeted by 
order of the king in a conspicuous place. 

It is quite the same feeling which dominates at 
another corner of his empire ; while the king was 
arranging his eastern affairs, and had invaded the 
territory of Artabarzanes in Northern Media, his uncle 
Achaeus, who had so loyally ceded the throne to him 
in the first instance, set up by his own great successes, 
and by promises from Ptolemy, assumed the royal 
tiara and the title of king, and advanced upon Syria, 
hoping to reach and occupy it before Antiochus could 
return from the East. As soon as his soldiers learned 
his object, however, they refused absolutely to be led 
against their lawful king, and Achaeus was obliged to 
content himself with ravaging Pisidia, and appeasing 
his troops with plenty of plunder. When Antiochus 


returned to Antioch, he sent a royal protest to 
Achaeus, charging him with high treason, and with 
being the ally of Ptolemy, but postponed a campaign 
into Asia Minor till he had assayed the recovery of 
Ccele - Syria. No doubt he encouraged Attalus to 
keep up his war with Achaeus, and so divert him from 
further interference in the Syrian war. 

He then began by carrying Seleucia on the Orontes 
by assault, his seaport town which the Egyptians had 
held ever since Euergetes' invasion ; and through the 
treason of the yEtolian officer holding the passes into 
Palestine for Ptolemy, he was able to advance as far 
as Gaza, but not before much time had been spent 
in diplomatic negotiation, of which Polybius has left 
us an interesting abstract. The point at issue was 
whether after the original division of the Diadochi, 
when Syria fell to Antigonus, its subsequent conquest 
by the first Ptolemy had been for himself, or for the 
purpose of establishing Seleucus there ; also, waiving 
this point, whether Seleucus's occupation of Syria 
after Ipsus (B.C. 300) should not count as lawful con- 
quest, though not in strict accordance with the pre- 
vious arrangements of the three kings. These 
negotiations were diligently kept up by the Egyp- 
tians, because the young king Philopator had neg- 
lected his army, and nothing was in readiness. So 
a great number of Greek mercenaries were hired, 
principally yEtolians, and great drilling went on at 
Alexandria, while the Syrian envoys were going to 
and fro to Memphis by the eastern (Pelusiac) mouth 
of the Nile, and saw nothing of it. At last, when 
they had had enough of parley, Antiochus being 

ACHMUS. 229 

peremptory about holding Coele- Syria, and about ex- 
cluding all consideration of the rebel Achaeus, the 
hostile armies met at the great battle of Raphia, near 
Gaza (B.C. 217). At this engagement, though the 
African elephants of Ptolemy would not for a moment 
face the Indian elephants of Antiochus, and though 
Antiochus gained considerable advantage with his 
cavalry, the shock of the phalanxes decided the 
matter, and he was defeated with a loss of twelve 
thousand men. Finding further conquests were 
hopeless, he returned to Antioch, and offered terms 
which were far too readily accepted by Ptolemy 
who recovered Palestine and Phoenicia, but was con- 
tent apparently to forego the possession of Seleucia. 

Antiochus was, however, hurrying at any cost to 
turn against Achaeus, who now ruled over all Asia 
Minor, with the exception of some Greek towns, and 
of the fortress of Pergamum, in which he had besieged 
Attalus. In a campaign of two years Antiochus 
recovered all his dominions, and shut up Achaeus in 
Sardis. Then, with the aid of clever Greeks, he 
stormed the city, but still Achaeus held out in the 
impregnable citadel. Meanwhile, the Egyptian vizier 
Sosibius was doing all he could to save Achaeus, by 
negotiating through private agents at Rhodes and 
Ephesus to manage his escape through the enemy's 
lines, and it seems that in these wars, conducted 
chiefly through Cretan and yEtolian mercenaries, 
there was always a good understanding among the 
hostile armies, since many now opposed to each other 
had before served together under the same banner ; 
but the Cretans, who took the matter in hand, ne- 


gotiated with Antiochus also for the treacherous 
surrender of Achaeus, and having taken bribes from 
both sides, thought it their interest to cheat the 
Egyptian who was far away. In a thrilling narrative, 
Polybius tells us of this night adventure, in which 
they arranged for Achaeus to leave his fortress 
secretly, and make his way through the enemy's 
lines. There had been much mutual suspicion, and 
the night was pitch dark, so that the conspirators 
could not be sure that Achaeus was among the fugi- 
tives, and it was not till they saw one of the party 
being carefully and respectfully helped down the 
precipice, by those who could not forget their court 
manners, that they made sure of their man, and 
carried him bound to the tent of Antiochus, who was 
sitting up alone, after his state dinner, in intense 
excitement. When he saw his great enemy thrown 
bound upon the floor, he burst into tears, but not of 
compassion, for next day when his council of " Mace- 
donians" met, amid the wildest excitement, it was 
decreed that Achaeus should be mutilated first, then 
beheaded, then have his body sown up in an ass's 
skin and gibbeted. 

These details contrast strongly with the conduct of 
Antiochus in the great Eastern campaign which he 
presently undertook. No sooner was he master of 
Asia Minor (B.C. 213) than he turned to the reconquest 
of those further provinces, which had long asserted 
themselves as independent kingdoms. He attacked 
the rising Parthian kingdom, he forced the so-called 
Parthian passes, and penetrated into Bactria, where 
he found Euthydemus established as king. We have 


in Polybius fragments concerning his wirs in Par- 
thia, Hyrcania, and Bactria, in all of which he was 
ready to establish the reigning sovran, if he promised 
obedience and loyalty. His principle was to admit 
the claims of the descendants of rebels to some con- 
sideration, seeing that they had not revolted against 
himself, while he punished upstart or personal oppo- 
nents, like Molon and Achaeus, with the most cruel 
vengeance. Euthydemus explained to him that by 
destroying the new dynasty in Bactria, it would be 
laid open to devastation and rebarbarization at the 
hands of the Turanian hordes, the nomads of the 

So after making peace and alliance, the king turned 
eastward on the track of Alexander, and made his 
power felt by the sovrans on this side of the Indus. 
He obtained from them elephants and treasure. He 
even returned by the southern route which Alexander 
had found so difficult, wintering in Caramania or 
Gcdrosia, and not content with these achievements, 
made conquests in Arabia, still probably imitating 
not only the campaigns, but the plans of Alexander. 
Then after several years of glorious wars, in which he 
had incurred much personal danger and shown great 
personal bravery, he returned (B.C. 204) to Antioch, 
loaded with the treasures of the East, and justly 
hailed with the title of " the Great." Ordinary readers 
only meet this king late in his life, when he appears so 
dilatory and feeble in his campaign with the Romans, 
but Polybius notes specially the great contrast of his 
earlier and later years. The fatigues of war and 
pleasure seem to have exhausted his energy, and 


from his return, which we have just noted, he seems 
to have done nothing to sustain h's well-earned title. 

During all this time his rival Ptolemy had been 
leading a slothful and luxurious life at Alexandria. 
Content, after his victory at Raphia, with any fair 
terms, so as to secure peace and return to his 
pleasures, he is only known through the number ot 
his mistresses, and their statues throughout his city, 
and for the enormous state ship which he built to 
carry his whole court and all his luxuries up and 
down the Nile. His affairs were managed by Sosibius, 
afterwards by a Greek lady and her brother, whom 
we shall meet again; and though Polybius mentions 
that he was involved in some other war or insur- 
rection late in his reign, it was of no import, nor 
distinguished by any brilliant action. The epito- 
mator of Polybius has not even mentioned where 
it was waged. The murders of his early years — 
including his mother, brother, wife and sister, and 
uncle, as well as that of Cleomenes and his family 
— are attributed by Polybius to his minister, and 
we know that literature and science continued to 
flourish at the Museum during his reign ; but 
if Egypt did not visibly decline, it was owing to 
the greatness and energy of his predecessors, not 
to any merit of his own. We know that he so 
increased taxation as to alienate permanently the 
Jewish nation, which had hitherto preferred Egyptian 
to Syrian rule ; and, nevertheless, so low were his 
finances that he issued a copper token money, which 
had the names, and affected the value, of silver coins. 
It was the nearest approach the ancients made to our 



paper currency. The revolts and internal troubles of 
the succeeding reign are chiefly attributable to this 
king's injustices. He died in 204 B.C., when Antiochus 
had just completed his Eastern campaigns. The heir 
to his throne was a child of four, known as Ptolemy 
(V.) Epiphanes. 




BEFORE we return to the third monarchy, Mace- 
donia, and consider the king who was to fall before 
the Romans, let us take a brief view of the action 
of the now important secondary powers, during the 
activity of Antiochus III. and the sloth of Ptolemy 
IV. Polybius gives a very interesting glimpse into 
the conditions of Greek trade at this moment in his 
elaborate preface to the war of the Rhodians and By- 
zantines (B.C. 219). Laying aside his speculations as 
to the ultimate filling up of the Black Sea by the 
deposit of the great rivers which flow into it, he is 
most instructive on the course of the current which 
carries vessels naturally into the harbour of Byzan- 
tium, while those who try to reach the opposite Chal- 
cedon only do so with great difficulty. This natural 
advantage secured for Byzantium the command of the 
vast trade of the Euxine in the necessaries of life 
(says Polybius), cattle, and slaves ; in its luxuries, 
honey, wax, salt fish, hides ; and sometimes in corn. 
The Greeks would be deprived of all this benefit 
were there not a strong city established there — for the 
Galatians on the one side, and Thracians on the other, 
would stop and plunder everything. Hence Byzan- 


tium was absolutely necessary to the Hellenistic 
world, as holding the key to all this commerce, and 
to all the cities settled on the coasts of the Euxine ; 
but their difficulties were also colossal — nothing could 
pacify or settle the barbarous Thracians, their neigh- 
bours, whom they could neither buy off nor conquer, 
but who always came down upon their suburbs, and 
carried off all that they had in the fields, so that they 
were really like an outpost in an hostile country, hold- 
ing the strait for the Greek world with great loss and 
discomfort to themselves. 

This state of things had long been suffered when 
the Galatians supervened, and established a kingdom 
(that of Tylis) in Thrace, close to Byzantium. These 
marauders were so much worse than the Thracians, 
that the tax they levied on Byzantium by way of 
blackmail was gradually raised to eighty talents a 
year (^20,000). Upon this the people of the city 
sent embassies to their neighbours throughout the 
ALgean, and asked for a subsidy to help them in their 
trouble, as they held a post of importance to all 
civilization. We may fancy that the late successful 
petition of the Rhodians (p. 195) encouraged them to 
hope for some success ; but when they failed, they 
determined to levy customs on the passage of the 
straits. Whereupon there was a great outcry in the 
trading world, and a general appeal to the Rhodians, 
as the leaders in mercantile affairs, to interfere. It 
was as if the present powers of Europe were to appeal 
to England to interfere in keeping the Suez Canal 
open to European traffic. The Rhodians therefore 
protested, and getting worsted in argument went to 


war — as usual, with money and allies rather than with 
their own forces. They secured the active help of 
Prusias, king of Bithynia. The Byzantines applied 
to Attalus and Achaeus, who were then at war, 
Achaeus being master of almost all Asia Minor, and 
both promised to help them — a curious evidence of 
the interest this war excited. But the Rhodians 
bought off Achaeus by persuading Ptolemy to give 
them up Andromachus, Achaeus's father, who was 
kept a hostage in Egypt. So the war of Byzantium 
and Prusias continued, till in the end the Rhodians 
gained their point and forced the straits to be kept 
an open highway for ships. 

Of course Attalus was not able at the time to help, 
nor do we know of his taking an active part in the 
history of Asia Minor for the next few years. He 
kept warring with Achaeus in the interest of An- 
tiochus, who accordingly made a favourable treaty 
with him; and as his position was now secured by the 
capture and death of Achaeus, he was able to turn to 
Western politics, and he joined the coalition made by 
Romans and the ^Etolians against Philip of Macedon 
in 211 B.C. This brings us back to Europe, to Mace- 
donia and the Greeks, whose history was very agitated 
and serious during the period before us. 



Thanks to the able policy of Antigonus Doson, 
Philip V. was the first king of Macedonia, we may- 
say for centuries, who succeeded peacefully, and with- 
out a struggle, to the throne. He was an agreeable 
youth of courtly manners, trained in Hellenic politics 
by the wily and experienced Aratus, with whom the 
late king had desired him to be intimate. The 
northern barbarians were quiet, and the Illyrians 
were cowed by a new and stronger interference of the 
Romans (B.C. 219), who ousted Demetrius of Pharos, 
their former ally, from all his possessions, and sent 
him, a mischievous fugitive, to haunt the court of 

Troubles soon arose from the ^Etolians, whom 
Antigonus had so marvellously coerced and con- 
trolled, without having the time to subdue them into 
his alliance. Their jealousy of the spread of the 
Achaean League led them to attack it, nominally to 
protect the eastern towns of the Peloponnesus, which 
had long been allied with them. In the complicated 
wars which ensue during this generation, the usual 


combination is this : ^Etolia, Elis, Messenia, and 
Sparta, against the Achaean League, who call in the 
help of their ally, the Macedonian king. The 
vEtolians were his natural enemies, and they always 
claimed, and generally held, towns in Thessaly, thus 
threatening his land communications with Southern 

The details of the struggle which follow are not of 
large interest, and may be disposed of in brief sum- 
mary ; the world-feature is the ambition of Philip to 
join in the great Punic War against Rome, and the 
momentous consequences of this folly. The ^itolians 
succeeded in detaching Sparta from the League, 
where two kings were again set up for a moment, one 
legitimate, the other for a large bribe ; but they soon 
made way for the tyrant Machanidas, so that Sparta 
too has her epoch of tyrants from this time on. The 
yEtolians also got aid from Attalus, who from the 
first opposed the young king of Macedon ; but the 
latter was so quick and brilliant in his movements, 
as to show plainly he was no contemptible foe. He 
even succeeded in a raid on the ^tolian capital 
Thermus, which he took and sacked. So a peace 
came about in 217 B.C., as the yEtolians were worsted 
and tired of unprofitable fighting, and Philip had his 
eye upon the West. 

Indeed, all Greece saw the storm coming, and even 
the sensible men among the ^tolians advised peace 
and union in the face of the tremendous conflict now 
commenced in Italy. It was plain that as all ancient 
nations thought conquest legitimate, the victor in this 
struggle would next attack the Hellenic peninsula. 


It seemed clear, too, that the Romans were the 
nearest and most dangerous neighbours. They had 
just reasserted themselves and- triumphed (B.C. 219) 
over Illyria. The only question was the alternative 
between strong, combined neutrality, or active inter- 
ference on the side of Carthage. When, therefore, the 
news of the defeat of the Romans at Thrasymene, 
came to Philip, as he was sitting with Demetrius of 
Pharos beside him, at the Nemean games (B.C. 217), 
it was easy to persuade him to join Hannibal. Hence 
he, too, was glad of peace at home. 

Demetrius was a fugitive from the Romans, who 
even demanded, but could not then enforce, his extra- 
dition ; he was an adventurous Illyrian pirate, who 
loved war for its profit, and had, at the time, nothing 
more to lose. Yet his general advice was perhaps 
right, if Philip had only possessed other responsible 
advisers who could carry out practically this large and 
difficult policy. Though chosen by Antigonus, they 
seem all to have been as worthless as Aratus, and 
wholly unable to grasp the situation. Hence fatal de- 
lays, occupied in fighting with Illyrian chiefs, and not 
spent in building a fleet fit to protect his transport 
ships to Italy. It was only the news of Cannae (B.C. 
216) that stimulated him to action ; but as Hannibal 
commanded no port, the ambassadors Philip sent by 
way of Croton were taken by the Romans on their 
way inwards, and though they lied themselves free, 
were again captured with the treaty in their possession, 
so that the Romans, not Philip, got news of the 
threatening prospects on the east side of Italy, and 
forthwith kept a fleet of observation cruising in the 


In spite of these precautions, Philip did manage to 
reach Hannibal with another embassy, and made a 
treaty with him in 215 B.C., after much precious time 
had elapsed ; but so far as we know its terms, he did 
not even get a promise of possessions in Italy, which 
were the dream of his ambition ; he stipulated only the 
aid of the Carthaginians to recover all the Roman 
conquests on his own coast (except the property of 
Demetrius of Pharos) and to subdue all Greece ; but 
even now he did nothing but attack, and fail to take, 
Corcyra and Apollonia. No doubt he was afraid to 
face the Adriatic fleet of the praetor Laevinus — perhaps 
the refusal to give him Greek Italy had cooled his 
ambition — and he remained warring with Illyrian 
chiefs ; moreover, he had no friendly port for the 
reception of his invading troops. This point was not 
secured till Hannibal captured Tarentum in 212 B.C., 
the only year of great Carthaginian successes in Spain, 
and the Romans were now so alarmed at the prospect 
of a Macedonian invasion, that they prepared to oc- 
cupy Philip by raising up enemies against him in 

In this they easily succeeded. For the momentary 
anxiety for peace and union under Philip was gone. 
During the year since 217 B.C., he had estranged cities 
and people by his caprice, cruelty, and injustice. He 
got rid of the remonstrances of the veteran Aratus by 
poisoning him in 213 B.C. ; he sacked Greek cities, 
and sold free citizens into slavery ; in fact, he be- 
haved as an Oriental tyrant, and not as the president 
of Free States. 

So then the Romans, who had just conquered Syra- 


cuse (B.C. 212) and Capua (B.C. 211), sent their Ad- 
miral Laevinus to the synod of the ^Etolians, to incite 
them to war with Philip. Of the conquests made, 
the Romans were to have the movable property, as 
they intended no extension of empire ; the yEtolians 
the land. Neither were to conclude a separate peace 
with Philip. Thus the Romans, who had before ap- 
peared in Greece as the promoters of order and the 
chastisers of piracy and freebooting, now appear as 
the deliberate promoters of it ; but we must consider 
their desperate circumstances. They were still fight- 
ing for existence, and must have thought all means 
lawful to occupy Philip in his own country. 

So we have a new war of Macedonians, Illyrians, 
Italians, Eleans, Messenians, Spartans (under Ma- 
chanidas, the new tyrant), and also Attalus, against 
the Achaeans and Philip — the Achaeans strengthened 
by the return of Philopcemen, a competent general. 
This man, together with Philip, who displayed in the 
difficult and various movements of the war very great 
ability — it is his best period — actually resisted the 
coalition successfully, especially when Attalus was 
attacked by Prusias of Bithynia, and the Romans, 
now threatened with the new invasion of Hasdrubal, 
sent no more help ; but they had done enough to 
show that a new power of the first class, ruthless in 
politics and very cruel in war, was now to take part 
in Hellenistic affairs, and it was not difficult to predict 
the end. For the present, however, the Greeks and 
Macedonians were allowed to fight it out among 
themselves, and when Philopcemen slew Machanidas 
the Spartan in a great battle at Mantinea (B.C. 207), 



and Philip sacked Thermus, the .^Etolian capital, both 
sides were prepared to listen to the neutral powers, 
Egypt, Rhodes, Athens, &c, who had repeatedly 
offered mediation (in 209, 208, and again in 206) 
on the basis of the status quo. The Romans were 
much put out at this peace, for Philip came out 
of the war so powerful, that even now an in- 
vasion of Italy seemed quite possible, and was 
generally expected ; and though the Romans were 
evidently going to conquer Carthage in the great 
struggle, they were so completely exhausted that 
they dare not undertake a new war. So they 
forthwith sent a consul with an army to Epirus, 
who strove hard to make the ^tolians join him. 
They refused, but he was able to intimidate Philip 
into a peace with Rome. This sealed his fate, 
and the fate of the East. It was the last moment 
when the power of Macedonia might have turned 
the scale in the world's history. A descent with the 
new fleet he had built upon South Italy would pro- 
ably have kept Scipio there, and might have given 
Hannibal help enough for another and a decisive 

We have now reached a new turning-point in the 
history of Alexander's Empire. Antiochus had just 
come back victorious from the East, and ready for 
new conquests. Ptolemy Philopator had just died, 
and was to be succeeded by an infant, in hands of 
the viziers and favourites of the late king. Rhodes, 
at the head of all the Greek coast cities, was pros- 
pering, and perpetually striving to mediate between 
warring neighbours, and keep the world at peace. 



Attalus was beginning to interfere with his fleet in 
external politics, as far as Greece, especially against 
Macedonia, which threatened him on the north-west 
of his dominion. Philip and the Greeks had worn 
out their force by two civil wars, if we may so call 
them, and the Hellenic peninsula was still divided 
among free cities, tyrants, leagues, and Macedonian 
subjects. In spite of Philip's ability when hard 
pressed, and the solid worth of Philopcemen at the 
head of the Achaean League, it was now plain that 
very shortly there would be a conflict with the Ro- 
mans, who had been provoked in their great distress, 
and shown that their eastern shore was not protected 
by the Adriatic from the risk of Hellenistic raids. 
Pyrrhus had once made such an invasion, and Philip 
had threatened it ; this danger, then, must be removed 
at the earliest opportunity. 




As we approach the close of our period, the rela- 
tions of the various parts of the empire become so 
close, that it is no longer possible, or indeed needful, 
to consider them in separate sections. It was now 
clearly Philip's policy to conciliate all his neighbours 
by every fair concession, and strive to unite all Hel- 
lenism to meet the coming attack from the victorious 
Romans. With the most inconceivable stupidity 
and selfishness he did the very reverse. He annoyed 
the Romans by sending underhand assistance to 
Carthage ; he not only treated the free Greek cities 
with insult, but even tried to get rid of Philopcemen, 
who was daily attaining more influence in Pelopon- 
nesus in military matters, by assassins, whose attempt 
was foiled and discovered He then set the new 
tyrant of Sparta, Nabis, an infamous robber chief, the 
friend of pirates and outlaws, to harass the Achaean 
League. It seems that the military greatness of 
Philopcemen has been exaggerated by his panegy- 
rists, Polybius and Plutarch, for though he fought 


(Our best specimen of Greek art about 200 B.C. which reverted to the 
ideal types of Phidias for its models.) 


some successful battles with Nabis, he was wholly 
unable to subdue him. Had he been the brilliant 
general they assert, such could hardly have been the 

While this conflict was going on in Greece, and 
Philip was losing favour and influence there, he had 
taken in hand a new conflict, which showed how 
degraded he had become. Without the smallest 
ground of quarrel, he entered (B.C. 203) into a treaty 
with Antiochus III., who was longing for some new 
conquest, to attack and dismember the kingdom of 
Egypt, now in the hands of a child of six and his 
tutors. Antiochus advanced against Ccele-Syria and 
Phoenicia, which he twice before in his early years 
failed to conquer, while Philip demanded for his share 
the numerous coast and island cities in the ALgean 
Sea, from Thrace to Caria, which were allies or sub- 
jects of Egypt. The war, as it was begun on shame- 
ful principles, so it was carried out by the mercenaries 
of Philip with shameful excesses. He began himself 
by the capture of the northern towns Lysimacheia, 
Perinthus, Chalcedon, Kios, Thasos, all close about 
the Propontis, and in alliance, not only with Egypt, 
but with the ^Etolian League, or Byzantium, or the 
king of Bithynia. 

He thus challenged the enmity of all these powers, 
and if the ^Etolians did not move, the rest did, and 
speedily brought with them Attalus and the Rhodians, 
who had in vain interposed by embassies to save 
these towns, seeing clearly that Philip would attack 
them next. So when his fleet came as far south as 
Samos, the new allies, especially the Rhodians and 


Attalus, fought him a great sea-battle, in which he 
was defeated. The death of the Rhodian admiral 
Theophiliscus, however, and the heavy losses to At- 
talus's ships in the battle, so paralyzed the allies, that 
he was able to land and devastate cruelly the land of 
of Pergamum. When this fleet was refitted and 
strengthened, so as to be again mistress of the sea, 
he escaped home with difficulty, through their ships, 
to Macedonia (B.C. 200). It shows us, however, how 
completely Rome was already regarded as the arbiter 
of Eastern affairs, at least as far as Egypt, that all the 
allies injured by Philip sent ambassadors to complain 
at Rome. From this time onward for half a century 
there was hardly a moment when crowds of am- 
bassadors were not besieging the senate-house, and 
trying to bribe or persuade influential people at 
Rome to get them a hearing. 

Let us turn back for a moment to the accession of 
the child Ptolemy Epiphanes. He was in the hands 
of the late king's mistress Agathoclea, her brother 
Agathocles, who was in fact vizier, and much hated 
and feared by the people, and Sosibius, the son of the 
former minister. The will of the late king making 
the arrangement was at once suspected as forged, and 
popular discontent arose. To meet this these persons 
followed the usual course of policy in such cases. 
They gave largesses to the mob, and Agathocles sent 
away all the important rivals he had on public 
missions, to announce the accession to Philip, to 
Antiochus, &c. Scopas the ^Etolian was sent to 
collect troops from his home ; but they were not able 
to get rid of Tlepolemus, the Greek general who 


(Showing real life, as opposed to the ideal figure in the last cut. 
This terra cotta figure represents an ordinary Greek lady of the third 
century B.C.) 


superintended the grain supply of Alexandria, and 
was stationed at Pelusium. Their attempts to im- 
plicate this officer in treason failed with the " Mace- 
donians," as the Household Troops of Alexandria 
were still called. Attempts at repressing popular 
feeling were worse than futile. All the walls were 
found written over in the morning with incitements 
against the Ministers. Gradually the tumult spread, 
the royal child was supposed to be in danger, and 
Polybius gives us a most graphic account of the wild 
excitement in Alexandria, children joining in the 
noise, torches and troops hurrying through the streets, 
the minister's mother a suppliant in the temple of 
Demeter, and driving from her with horrible curses 
the women who wished to console her. To save 
their lives, the cabal gave up the child, who was 
carried in triumph, crying and terrified, to the theatre. 
The opposition coaxed from him an order for the 
punishment of the " enemies of the people," and 
sending him home to the house of Sosibius, they 
proceeded literally to tear in pieces in the streets 
the wretched impostors who had thought to hold 
Egypt in their hands. 

The new regents, for the moment Tlepolemus and 
Sosibius, were men of very different character, the one 
a reckless and generous soldier, the other a prudent 
diplomatist. The former could not refuse any de- 
mand for money, and squandered the king's treasure ; 
the objections of Sosibius only caused the transference 
of the great seal and charge of the king to his rival 

Meanwhile the attack of Philip and Antiochus on 
Egypt's allies had begun. The Rhodians seem to 


have been left to manage the naval war. The 
^Etolian Scopas was sent against Antiochus who had 
invaded Palestine. After some brilliant successes 
gained by Scopas, he was defeated by Antiochus, at 
Panion, in Ccele-Syria ; and the Jews, who were 
generally staunch to Egypt in these quarrels, sided 
this time with Antiochus, owing to the ill-treatment 
they had lately received from Philopator. It seemed 
now as if Antiochus would really invade Egypt, but 
meanwhile the Romans, who had finished the Punic 
War, and were preparing to attack Philip, sent an 
embassy of three of their most distinguished nobles to 
announce their victory to Egypt, to thank the nation 
for its support of Rome in great trial, and also 
to request an alliance against Philip. It seems that 
the Regency not only accepted this message with 
cordiality, but begged for interference against the 
aggression of Antiochus. Moreover, they actually 
asked the Romans to undertake the protection of the 
young king, and we have extant a coin of M. ^Emil. 
Lepidus, one of the ambassadors, which has stamped 
upon it the Roman putting a diadem on the boy's 
head, with the words, tutor regis (see p. 298). 

The first message of the Romans to Antiochus 
seems to have been unheeded ; a second induced 
him to propose a marriage of his daughter with the 
young Ptolemy, when he was of sufficient age, and 
a promise to make the territory he had conquered 
her dowry. This vague offer, which was not seriously 
intended, was at the time accepted by the Senate, as 
Rome was now entering upon her second war with 


The Senate had only two difficulties to deal with, 
in opening this war. It seemed to them essential, 
diplomatically, to put Philip in the wrong by making 
him appear the aggressor ; that was not a serious 
obstacle, as his recent acts showed him to be quite 
a tyro in diplomacy. They had, however, further to 
persuade the Roman assembly that Philip was actually 
threatening Italy, for the late exhausting war had 
made the very name hateful, and the people longed 
for peace. The ostensible cause was an attack which 
he made on Athens, to avenge for the Acarnanians 
the murder at Athens of two young men who had 
violated (it was said ignorantly) the Elcusinian mys- 
teries. His devastation of Attic territory, and of its 
art-treasures, naturally caused great commotion in 
the Greek world, and more embassies were sent to 
complain at Rome. The Senate, which now began 
to pose as the admirer of Hellenedom and protector of 
Grecian liberty, took up the matter, and on sending 
M. JE. Lepidus on a mission to the king, found him 
in the midst of a bloody and successful campaign 
about the Hellespont. This was evidently to cover 
his rear when the Roman war began. He was just 
besieging Abydos with circumstances of great horror, 
the whole body of the inhabitants during three days 
after the capture, committing suicide en masse rather 
than become his subjects. Such was already the 
result of Stoical teaching on the world ! The Rho- 
dians and Attalus were unable to check him, and 
when the Roman envoy used bold language to him, 
demanding restitution of cities taken from the allies, 
cessation of hostilities, and indemnity for damage to 


be fixed by arbitration, Philip answered haughtily, 1 
and when he had finished his bloody work at Abydos, 
hurried back to find a Roman army landed at Apol- 
lonia, and a Roman fleet at Corcyra. 

There were only two legions sent, on account of 
the unpopularity of the new war, and because the 
Senate intended to carry it on by diplomacy, and the 
help of Greek allies rather than with Roman blood. 
So then the Senate set to work to isolate Philip, and 
to secure as many allies as possible. They were sure 
of the Rhodians and Attalus, but in Greece only of 
Athens, for their old allies the yEtolians had been on 
distant terms with them, ever since they had con- 
cluded peace without Rome's leave, and the rest were 
waiting to see the turn of fortune. Each side was 
anxious to secure the Achaeans, but at the crisis 
Philopcemen was defeated in trying to secure (against 
the law), a re-election as President, and a second 
time he sulkily left his country in the lurch, and went 
off to Crete. He was the only man able to keep 
Nabis in check, and now the Achaeans were in this 
great difficulty, either to quarrel with Philip, and 
expose themselves to him and Nabis, or to offend 
the Romans, who were distinctly the greater power. 
After long and anxious discussion they determined 
to remain neutral. So did the ^tolians, till they 
saw the first Roman successes, then they joined the 
stronger side. 

Still Philip showed, as usual, great military ability 
in the actual campaign. He kept the Romans out of 

1 He told yEmilius that he would excuse his impertinence because he 
was a young man, a handsome man, and a Roman. 


Macedonia at the difficult passes through Mount 
Pindus, which separate Epirus from Macedonia, and 
it was only after nearly two years' efforts that 
Flamininus was able to manoeuvre a passage for the 
Roman army into Thessaly. Why they did not 
operate with a fleet on the east side of his dominions 
does not appear ; but some of the delay was caused 
by incompetence of consuls, and mutiny of troops in 
the Roman camp — a new and strange feature. When 
Flamininus had secured his military position in 
Thessaly, he spent the winter in further isolating 
Philip, and in persuading the still neutral states to 
join Rome. After a most exciting debate at their 
congress, the Achaeans at last consented, with the 
greatest hesitation and fear, to join Rome. Philip 
attempted negotiations, and even obtained a truce of 
two months, to discuss terms with the Senate ; but 
the determination was fixed to confine him to mere 
Macedonia, to clear all his garrisons from Greece and 
Thessaly — in fact, to reduce him to the original limits 
of Macedonia, in the days of Demosthenes. 

Thus it was that the issue came to be fought 
on the hills not far from Tempe, called Cynosce- 
phalae, or Dogs' Heads (B.C. 197), where, for the 
first time since Pyrrhus, the open order of the 
Romans met the phalanx of the Hellenistic king- 
doms. Roman officers afterwards told Polybius 
they had never seen anything so terrible. On level 
ground the phalanx was invincible, unless attacked 
in the rear, but it was quite unfit for rapid ad- 
vance or for rough terrain. In this particular 
instance the battle came on unexpectedly, the 


Roman cavalry stumbling in a fog upon the 
Macedonian which was on the hills. First suc- 
cessful, then defeated, then reinforced, the Mace- 
donians urged and persuaded their king to bring up 
his infantry in two phalanxes, to decide the day. 
The right phalanx, charging down hill, was victorious, 
but the left did not reach the summit either in time 
or in order, and was easily broken, especially by 
the elephants on the Roman side. The victorious 
Romans then found themselves almost on the rear 
of the winning phalanx, and surrounded it. As the 
sign of surrender, the raising of the sarissa, or long 
pike, was not understood by the victors, thirteen 
thousand of the Macedonians were slaughtered on the 
field. The king escaped, burnt all his secret papers, 
and offered negotiations. 

Of course the lesser and smaller allies, who had 
only joined at the eleventh hour, and who, except 
the yEtolians, had given little help in the war, loudly 
demanded the extinction of Macedon. But the 
Roman general was calmer and wiser. He knew 
how long and difficult had been the effort to pene- 
trate through the passes into this kingdom ; he knew 
that the king had still resources ; with the aid of 
Thracians and Dardanians he might have begun 
again a tedious and dangerous struggle. He rather 
desired, while making the king impotent to subdue or 
dominate Greeks, still to keep him strong enough to 
act as a bulwark against the barbarians, who were 
the real danger to Greece. Moreover, not only had 
a great revolt broken out in Spain, but Philip's 
Eastern ally, Antiochus, who had behaved with curi- 


ous and culpable sloth in not making a diversion 
or in coming to his aid, was now in conflict with the 
Rhodians, and there thus appeared new complications 
on the Eastern horizon. Philip was merely ordered 
to reduce his army and fleet, to give up all his Greek 
possessions, and to abstain from any attacks on the 
allies of Rome. 

Here, then, we may pause, for the first blow has 
been struck from the West at the Empire of Alex- 
ander. It may of course be said that an earlier limi- 
tation came from Sandracottus (Chandragupta, p. 65) 
when he occupied the provinces reaching to the 
Indus, and made Seleucus cede to him the Indian 
portion of the great conqueror's acquisitions ; but 
these remote provinces can hardly be called any 
portion of the Hellenistic world. More serious and 
real was the rise of Arsaces in 250 B.C., for not only 
did he establish in the province of Atropatene, 
hardly touched by Alexander, a lasting Oriental 
monarchy, but he cut off from real Hellenism the 
kingdom of Bactria, which had clearly made no in- 
considerable effort towards that unity of culture 
which marked the empire. 

Yet all these outlying losses were as nothing com- 
pared to the humiliation of Macedonia, the real core 
and backbone of the whole system of kingdoms sprung 
out of the empire. The highest military class in Egypt 
and Syria were still called Macedonians, yet we hear 
of the Egyptian regent Sosibius (the younger), at this 
very time, when he had come back from a visit to 
Pella, looking upon all the Alexandrian Macedonians 
with that supreme contempt that an Englishman of 



the better classes feels for the non-sporting, over- 
polite, city-lounging nobility of most foreign countries. 
In the mountains and glens of that rugged home 
there was a fine and hardy population who had con- 
quered the world, and had not forgotten it, yet they 
were now defeated, shackled, confined, and shorn of 
all glory, save their imperishable traditions. So then 
we need not wonder that they prepared for another 
struggle, hopeless as it was, and that it required 
another great and difficult war, and another great 
battle, to complete their subjection. If they fell 
now, they fell through the isolation into which they 
had been brought by the vices of their king, the 
jealous and shortsighted meanness of their Greek 
neighbours, the helplessness of Egypt, and the 
criminal folly and delay of the king of Syria. To 
all these retribution was at hand. 



The further proceedings of Flamininus in Greece 
after the battle of Cynoscephalae are recorded in 
every Roman history, and perhaps best in Momm- 
sen's, if we allow for his contempt of the claims of 
small states, and his open assertion that the strongest 
have a right to rule. Flamininus was at that time no 
mere Roman proconsul, but an individual possessing 
great influence in the state, because he was supposed 
to know all about the Greek world, and was a proper 
representative of the Senate in the East on account 
of his culture. The majority of the nobles at Rome 
were still mere outsiders as regards Hellenistic cul- 
ture ; they spoke Greek not at all, or badly, and they 
were not only very sensitive to ridicule for being 
barbarians, but anxious to maintain the dignity of 
Rome in the East. Flamininus, on the contrary, posed 
as a man of the new culture, and fit to talk with kings 
and at synods in Greek ; he was very vain of this, 
and desired to be handed down to posterity as the 
benefactor and liberator of Greece. Hence, in the 
first place, his declaration of the freedom of all the 


Greeks who had been direct subjects of Philip, at 
the Isthmian games (B.C. 196). 1 The rest were as- 
sumed to be free. Hence, too, his extreme forbearance 
to the insolence and turbulence of the ^Etolians, who 
had given him active help in the campaign, notably 
at the critical commencement of his great battle 
with Philip, and had obtained from him neither the 
plunder of Macedonia, nor an extension of their 
League into Thessaly. Hence, again, his forbearance 
to the Boeotians, who took to murdering single Roman 
soldiers ; and even to Nabis, whom he subdued in 
a campaign at the head of the combined Greeks, but 
whom he did not, as he ought to have done, execute 
or depose. So he left Greece free indeed, but free 
to her own internecine quarrels, as the history of the 
next fifty years shows with lamentable iteration. 

Still more imprudent was his persistence with the 
Senate — to which they at last gave way against their 
better judgment — on withdrawing all Roman troops 
from the three fortresses formerly held by Philip, 
Demetrias, Chalchis, and Corinth. For Philip's old 
ally, Antiochus the Great, was clearly preparing to 
dispute with the Romans part of their profits ; he 
was at Ephesus, making his plans to succeed to the 
power of Philip in the ALgean ; he had just received 
with every distinction the mighty Hannibal, whom 
the Romans, still fearing, had driven from Carthage, 
where he had introduced dangerous popular reforms. 
In the face of this manifest and serious danger, the sen- 
timental Roman assembled all the Greeks at Corinth 
in B.C. 194, and announced to them the immediate 

1 See " The Story of Rome," p. 161. 


evacuation of the " three fetters " which had so long 
galled their patriotism, and checked their liberty in 
going to war. 

These declarations of independence, made not by 
the people themselves, but by their masters, had been 
ridiculous enough in the days of Polysperchon, of the 
first Demetrius and the first Ptolemy. It was now 
only the promise of the Cyclops, that the smaller 
states should be devoured last, after they had helped 
with treasure and with blood to subdue the greater 
kingdoms of the Hellenistic world. 

When Flamininus was declaring Greece free and 
ungarrisoned, Antiochus was already making con- 
quests and establishing his advanced posts in Thrace. 

There is said to be honour amongst thieves ; it was 
not the case with the royal thieves of that day. Philip 
and Antiochus had agreed to conquer and divide 
Egypt, and Philip had carried out his part of the 
bargain by active naval hostilities, while Antiochus 
was conquering Ccele-Syria and Palestine ; but no 
sooner did he see Philip engaged with the Romans, 
than instead of coming to his aid, and helping the 
cause of Hellenism, he stood aloof, disregarded his 
appeal, and clearly adopted the policy of seizing not 
only Ptolemy's, but Philip's outlying possessions. He 
attempted the conquest of the ^igean islands, and 
of those parts of the Propontis and Thrace which 
had at times been claimed by Egypt, but were really 
the proper apanage of the Macedonian kingdom. 
So the old allies became bitter enemies, and Philip 
for once dealt honestly with the Romans when he 
sent them aid in their war with his own ally. This 


Antiochus, justly surnamed the Great in the history 
of Oriental Hellenism, is quite a different person 
when we meet him in Roman history. The reader 
will remember the remark of Polybius quoted above 
(p. 231) on this point. 

Of course the mainstay of the Romans, so long as 
the war remained on the coasts of Asia, was the power 
of Rhodes and Pergamum, but they had to do with 
Antiochus in Europe first. The offers by Egypt of 
aid in troops and money were politely declined by 
the Romans, we may fancy because the main body 
of Egyptian mercenaries at that time were JEtolians, 
and the yEtolians were the people urging Antiochus 
to come to Europe ; just as Eumenes, the successor of 
Attalus at Pergamum, was perpetually urging the 
Romans to undertake a war which must turn out to 
the profit of his smaller kingdom. The ^tolians 
persuaded those Thessalians and Peloponnesians who 
usually stood with them to join the king of Syria, 
and so he came to Greece in title the Generalissimo 
of the ^Etolian League. The king came, however, 
with a small army, instead of a great host ; he did 
no more than seize Eubcea and Chalcis, and secure 
Thermopylae ; but the Romans held Thessaly. Then 
Antiochus retired to Chalcis, to celebrate a new 
marriage with a beautiful Greek girl, instead of 
working his campaign diplomatically. It was clear 
what the end would be. 

In the spring of B.C. 191, the Roman army arrived 
under Acilius Glabrio, with the elder Cato as one of 
his tribunes, other men of consular rank also serving 
under him. He brought Numidian cavalry and ele- 


phants, and by dint of foreign auxiliaries raised his 
force to forty thousand. Antiochus sought to hold 
Thermopylae against this superior army, till his 
absurdly delayed reinforcements should arrive from 
Asia. As usual, this position was turned, by sending 
Cato round the mountain pass inland, where the 
yEtolians kept slack watch and were surprised ; so 
the Syrian was defeated, and had to fly to Asia, 
abandoning all the strong positions he had gained. 
Among the Greeks the yEtolians only resisted, and 
defended themselves, so that with difficulty a truce 
was arranged between them and the consul by the 
friendly and forgiving Flamininus. There followed 
a long and arduous struggle on the coast and among 
the islands of Asia Minor between the fleets of the 
Romans, Rhodians, and of Eumenes on the one side, 
and that of Antiochus on the other, in which Hannibal 
was absurdly given a command, and fought his only 
sea battle, without success, off the coast of Lycia. 
Meanwhile Seleucus, the king's son, was besieging 
Pergamum, which was only saved from capture by 
the constant diversions produced by Achaean troops 
thrown into the town. At last, after many conflicts, the 
supremacy of the sea was settled by the great battle 
of Myonnesus (B.C. 190), fought in presence of An- 
tiochus's land army, and thus the passage of the 
Roman army to Asia was secured. Had Antiochus gar- 
risoned Lysimacheia on the Propontis, the difficulty 
would not have been so easily settled. 

The campaign was under the nominal command 
of the great Scipio's incompetent brother Lucius, but 
the victor of Zama was there and inspired confidence. 


On the other side was a great army, drawn from all 
the far provinces of the kingdom, and arrayed in all 
their various splendour, as we may read in the de- 
scription by Livy. They met on the plain near 
Magnesia (B.C. 190). Hannibal was with the king, 
but it is strange that we do not hear of his being 
entrusted with a division, not to say with the com- 
mand. We hear, indeed, that he was regarded with 
jealousy by the Syrian generals and courtiers, and 
that his advice was systematically disregarded. With 
the troops as they stood at Magnesia, it is likely that 
not even he could have won a victory. They were 
discomfited and scattered, with a Roman loss of 
three hundred foot and twenty-four horsemen. Had 
Antiochus given him full play when he first arrived ; 
had he been allowed to organize and drill the Greeks 
and Syrians, and act on his own judgment, we may 
be sure he would quickly have altered the whole face 
of the war. 

Now all was over with a single battle. Antiochus 
the Great made peace on the Roman terms ; he aban- 
doned all Asia Minor, and had to support the Roman 
army at a cost of thirty thousand talents during its 
stay in Asia. Thus the second of the Hellenistic 
kingdoms fell, at a single blow, from the position 
of a great power, never to rise again ; nor is there 
an example in history of a more disgraceful fall. 
The Macedonians, as we shall see, were as yet far 
from subdued ; the Egyptians, though now under 
Roman tutelage, kept their individuality, and long 
after made national revolts, which showed their tough 
resistance to the foreigner. Syria gave up with a 


single half-hearted campaign. The battle of Magnesia 
was more a great pageant than a real fight ; and yet 
the description of this pageant seems to indicate to 
us that under Antiochus the kingdom was being 
orientalized, and was losing its Hellenistic side. It 
went to pieces like an Oriental army, and the king 
acquiesces like an Oriental despot, when he is beaten. 
He was killed next year at the head of the Persian 
Gulf by the people whose temple he was plundering 
to fill his failing treasury. We leave him without 
regret — a brilliant youth disgraced by a sensual and 
silly old age. 

If the king of Syria had surrendered Asia Minor 
without a blow, the Romans were determined not to 
accept it without establishing there a thorough terror 
of their name. They made their boundary-line from 
the Taurus Mount to the Halys, and in the year 
following, the new consul, C. Manlius Vulso, led his 
army through the interior of the country, making it his 
special object to attack and subjugate the Galatians, 
who were now permanently settled, and had avoided 
all offence or cause of war. If this military parade 
through the new subject-provinces was indeed re- 
quired, we cannot but agree with the historians who 
see in the expedition of Manlius a new and terrible 
feature. The Romans who had appeared in the East 
as liberators were rapidly to become plunderers. 
The first armies which were levied to subdue Mace- 
donia came unwillingly to the enrolment. The 
plunder of Cynos:ephalae and Magnesia opened out 
a new discovery — that war in the East for the Romans 
was what war in the East had been for the Greeks 


and Macedonians, a splendidly lucrative pursuit. 
It has also been justly remarked by historians, that 
if it took a couple of centuries to degrade the Greek 
into the Greekling of Roman days, it only took a 
generation or two to degrade the old dignified 
Roman of the Punic wars into the shameless and 
brutal spoiler of the Gracchan days. Nor is it hard 
to account for this remarkable difference. It had 
been observed long before in Greek history, how 
the rude and honourable Spartans turned tyrannical 
and venal as soon as they had conquered all oppo- 
sition and had become a dominant nation. In both 
cases an uneducated people came suddenly to domi- 
nate around them, and the uneducated are never 
able to resist prosperity like those who have been 
trained by high culture to know the true value of the 
world's gifts. 



(B.C. I9O-I79). 

DURING the great struggles which we have been 
relating, we have been almost silent as regards 
Egypt, where the child Ptolemy Epiphanes was 
growing apace under various tutors and governors. 
What happened at his accession was told above 
(p. 251). In the fragmentary records of his reign, we 
find a whole series of military and civil officers, 
almost all threatening revolt, and all disposed of 
successfully by their rivals. What became of Tlepo- 
lemus we know not, but we know that a succeeding 
commander of the forces, the ^Etolian Scopas, noto- 
rious for his rapacity and injustice in the management 
of the League's affairs, played the same part in Egypt. 
He had commanded in the campaign against Antio- 
chus, not without success, in spite of his great defeat 
at Panion, but in times of peace he assumed great 
state at Alexandria, demanded and squandered enor- 
mous pay, and even refused to appear before the 
ministers of the king when summoned to their 
council. He was arrested and put to death by 
Aristomenes, a new minister who was very faithful 


to his trust, and who seems to have managed affairs 

The accidents of history have preserved to us not 
only the curious scene of riot at Alexandria on the 
occasion of Epiphanes' accession, but also the decree 
of the priests and ministers at his formal coro- 
nation, or Anacleteria (proclamation as king). The 
coronation took place in the ninth year of his reign 
(B.C. 196), when he was by no means of age, and at 
Memphis, the ancient capital of Egypt. The cere- 
mony, which is described, shows very clearly how the 
Ptolemies had taken care to succeed to the indigenous 
dynasties. Coming to Memphis by state barge, he 
was met by the assembled priests ; crowned in the 
temple of Ptah with the double crown (Pschent) of 
Upper and Lower Egypt. Then was passed the 
decree in honour of the king, which is the text 
oreserved on the famous Rosetta stone, now in the 
British Museum. This stone has a celebrity quite 
apart from its historical value, in affording us the 
key to the deciphering of the hieroglyphic and 
demotic characters, in which the old language of 
Egypt was written. We have now another stone, 
the inscription found by Mariette and Lepsius in 
1865 at Tunis, recording the decree of the priests 
assembled at Canopus in the ninth year of Euergetes 
(see p. 157). But nothing will ever displace or 
obscure the celebrity of the Rosetta stone. 1 Found 
by the French in Napoleon's expedition in 1799, an< ^ 
packed up for France, it fell, upon the capitulation of 
Alexandria after the battle of the Nile, into British 

1 Caste of this stone are preserved in America. 


H 2 



hands, and was sent to London ; but it was many 
years before the key was found by Champollion. 
The Greek text was of course easy enough — the 
other two were the secret. Luckily the names of 
the king and queen, Ptolemy and Cleopatra, appeared 
in such a place in the Greek text as to correspond to 
two oval rings in the hieroglyphic characters, which 
were filled with signs. These then seemed to 
represent the letters of the names. Starting from 
this clue, Champollion made out the alphabet, if such 
it may be called, helping himself by a thorough 
knowledge of the Coptic language, the daughter of 
the old Egyptian, which gave him the names of 
many objects represented in the tomb-paintings with 
their names written over them. 1 

The text of the inscription is in substance this: 
After a long enumeration of the titles of the king — to 
whom Ra has given victory, beloved of Ptah, &c. — 
the date is fixed by the names of the various priests 
serving that year as the priests of the older Ptolemies 
and their queens now deified. Then a preamble 
describes the good acts of the king, how the taxes 
were lessened, crown debtors forgiven, prisoners 
released, crown allowances to the temples increased, 
the duties and taxes of the priests diminished, the 
pressgang for the navy abolished, and so forth — all 
this in accordance with the wishes of his grandfather, 
thus carefully slighting his father Philopator. In 

1 Champollion's own account is in his Precis du systeme hieroglyphique. 
I have given the history of the discovery and its development down to 
our own days in my " Prolegomena to Ancient History," Longmans, 


consequence of all this, the decree orders that the 
king shall be worshipped in every temple of Egypt, 
his statue carried with the gods in all processions, 
and this decree carved at the foot of every statue of 
the king in sacred (hieroglyphic), common (demotic), 
and in Greek writing. 

We now know that this famous declaration had 
more than a mere formal meaning. The cruelties ot 
Philopator as to taxing, and the systematic employ- 
ment of Greeks, not only in the army, but in all good 
civil offices, excited a national opposition to their rule. 
We hear of the Egyptian troops rebelling and being 
conquered with difficulty, then later on of a rising in 
Upper Egypt, and even of a Madhi who was to be a de- 
liverer of the people from the foreign yoke. The decree 
of Memphis, then, was a declaration obtained from the 
priests, who represented the national party, that the 
young king was indeed divine and the lawful and 
legitimate possessor of the crown of Egypt ; and this 
declaration was not obtained without large concessions 
in the way of taxes remitted, and of privileges conferred 
upon the temples. National reactions such as this 
were the second weapon which the age developed, to 
undermine and destroy the conquests of Hellenism. 
As the Parthian monarchy was based upon national 
principles, so the Egyptian revolts, which continued 
at intervals down to the final conquest of the Romans, 
partook of this character ; and the third outlying 
kingdom, which stood independent longer than all its 
great neighbours, the kingdom of Pontus, represented 
in its turn not Hellenism, but Orientalism. 

These considerations will justify this brief delay on 


(We come first to a great Pylon (A ), or pair of lofty buttresses on either side of the 
main gate (B), then a great open court (C), surrounded by a huge colonnade ; then a 
second gate (D), leading to an ante-chamber supported by still huger pillars (£), 
then the gate {F) into the temple proper with various chambers, of which the in- 
most (G) held the shrine of the god.) 



a curious moment of Egyptian history. As regards 
its external politics during the reign of Epiphanes, we 
have already mentioned that the struggle in Syria 
ended by the young queen obtaining Palestine, 
nominally at least, for a dowry. The possessions through 
the ^Egean had fallen avvay,consisting as they did of the 
protectorate of free cities which now appealed to the 
Romans ; Cyprus and Cyrene were perhaps the only 
outlying possessions now remaining to Egypt. 

The condition of Pergamum, on the other hand, 
underwent a mighty change, for, with the exception 
of those Greek towns which were independent of him 
at the date of the battle of Magnesia, and a small por- 
tion of Caria granted to the Rhodians, Eumenes ob- 
tained the whole of Asia Minor, and the European 
shore of the Hellespont. This, in addition to immense 
sums in compensation for damage, which Antiochus 
was compelled to pay him, made Eumenes quite the 
greatest sovran of the East, at least in appearance ; 
but there was this weak point, that the League of free 
cities along the coast, with the Rhodians at their head, 
were opposed to him in interests ; and as the senti- 
mental fashion of the day went for " freedom of all 
Greeks," the cities left under his rule were sure to be 
discontent, and struggled to escape into the League 
of Rhodes. The commercial power of Rhodes 
amounted on that coast to almost a monopoly of pro- 
fits in seafaring. It was afterwards asserted before the 
Senate by Eumenes, during one of his quarrels with 
the Rhodians, that freedom under them was a sub- 
jection far stricter than to be a member of his king- 
dom ; and this was very probably true. 


The large fact, and that which dominated the world, 
now was this : that all these powers were only king- 
doms, or leagues, or free cities, in a secondary sense — 
that they really depended on the nod and beck of 
Rome. As yet the Romans showed no desire to make 
any direct conquests beyond the seas. As yet they 
did not require any contributions to support the 
myriad paupers of Rome ; but with the notions of 
the ancients, and especially of the Romans, about the 
rights of conquest, it was quite clear to any observer 
that the moment policy or convenience at Rome re- 
quired it, all these kingdoms and free states would 
pass into the condition of absolute and heavily taxed 

Thus we may say that the day of Magnesia marks 
definitely the fall of the Empire of Alexander under 
the power of the Romans. Henceforth the chief part 
is played by those second-rate powers, to whom, in 
return for their services, the Romans had given lar- 
gesses and privileges. These, the Achaean League, 
Pergamum, Rhodes, were set up to watch and con- 
trol the remaining fragments of the great kingdoms ; 
but it very soon appeared that these smaller states 
would carry on a perpetual conflict for balance of 
power or for supremacy, like the greater kingdoms 
of Hellenism, but on a smaller scale. The Achaean 
League, Pergamum and Rhodes, are like a little 
Macedonia, Syria, and Egypt in their relations, and 
their complicated wars and diplomacies can hardly be 
called world-history, and may therefore be left to the 
special historians of that period. 

The larger events, on the other hand, which make 


this generation of deep interest to humanity, are 
essentially a part of Roman history, and are therefore 
narrated in every good book — and how many there 
are ! — on that subject. Here we may be very brief, 
for the empire we have been considering is gone to 
pieces. The great kingdoms are now isolated, and, 
with the exception of one attempt of Syria on Egypt, 
and one more struggle for independence in Macedonia, 
these kingdoms either continue a bare existence, 
tolerated by the Romans, or are actually broken up 
by the conquerors. 

All the world, says Polybius, sent embassies of con- 
gratulation to Rome upon the battle of Magnesia, and 
thus that great thoroughfare which had grown up 
under the empire all through Egypt, Asia Minor, 
and Greece, began to extend to Italy. The Mediter- 
ranean from Rome to Antioch, from Alexandria to 
Pella, was the high road of civilized men, all speaking 
the language, and possessing or affecting the culture, 
of Hellenism. And this was the lasting result of the 
conquest of Alexander, which the Romans neither 
could nor would destroy. But at the moment before 
us, all the Eastern world went to Rome to see what 
they could get, and of course many of them were not 
satisfied. The Achaeans, who overrated their part in 
the campaign, wanted to extend their league over all 
Greece, and were restricted, with much grumbling and 
discontent, to the Peloponnesus. Philip's share in the 
campaign was really serious, for he had secured all 
the Roman communications with Asia ; but then he 
was dangerous, and must be left in weakness and de- 
pendence. So he was deprived of Thracian coast 


towns, which were given to Eumenes to keep watch 
over him, and was not allowed to hold the islands of 
Thasos and Lemnos. Indeed, all the rest of his days 
he was exposed to insult at the hands of the Romans ; 
he was compelled to answer accusations and explain 
his acts at the demand of former subjects. The 
vEtolians showed their stubborn fighting qualities 
even after the great victory, and it required a special 
campaign of the Romans, and some long and des- 
perate sieges, to reduce them to subjection. 

The state of the world for about ten years after 
Magnesia was not indeed such as to alarm the 
Romans, who were occupied, as we see from their 
annals, with a peculiarly obstinate Ligurian war, com- 
bined some years with outbreaks in Tstria and the 
Pyrenees. Every year we hear of consuls and armies 
being sent to Liguria, and it is a wonder that this 
exercise did not keep up the old military spirit which 
we find so curiously decayed in the next Macedonian 

Antiochus the Great was succeeded by his younger 
son, Seleucus Philopator, who reigned obscurely and 
ingloriously for twelve years (B.C. 186-174), but still 
kept up the tradition of the Hellenistic kings by 
marrying his daughter to Perseus, the prince of Mace- 

The wretched king of Egypt lived on in sloth and 
luxury, undoing what had been done by his able 
ministers, and reversing his early reputation, till he 
was poisoned in 181 B.C. when about to make another 
campaign into Palestine against the king of Syria. 

Meanwhile Philip, now in the decline of life, had 


been in vain trying to recover himself by annexing a 
few towns, and still more by re-colonizing deserted 
tracts in the inner and northern parts of his dominion ; 
but his watchful neighbours cited him before a Roman 
Commission, sent out to inquire into his doings, and 
he was compelled (B.C. 184-183) to give up not only the 
towns in Thessaly which had been formerly granted 
to him, but his remaining coast towns in Thrace. 
The deeply offended king gloomily determined to 
spend the rest of his life in preparing for another 
contest ; but he was delayed by a sad tragedy in his 
own family, which reminds us strongly of the history 
of Lysimachus of Thrace (see p. 72). There arose 
violent jealousies between his elder son Perseus, and 
his younger and more brilliant Demetrius, whom the 
Romans had often received at Rome, and favoured 
(with a policy now becoming systematic) as a rival 
and spy resident in the kingdom of a doubtful ally. 
The suspicions raised by Perseus were increased by 
the charge that Demetrius was a " friend of the 
Romans," and desirous of removing his father. He 
was poisoned, but before long the old king found out 
the deceit and false charges of Perseus, and died an 
embittered and broken-hearted man (B.C. 179). 

The long reign of Philip — over forty years — had 
seen the decadence of the Empire of Hellenism. 
When he succeeded, Macedonia was still a strong 
empire, stronger indeed than it had been for nearly a 
century, through the genius of Antigonus Doson. 
Succeeding with the fairest prospects, he was a cha- 
racter only kept within the bounds of good sense and 
justice by the sternest adversity. As soon as he found 


himself idle or safe, his lusts and tempers broke out. 
It was possibly a misfortune to the world, certainly to 
himself that he was not obliged, like almost all his 
predecessors, to recover by arms the kingdom to 
which he had succeeded by right. 

We are very fully informed by Polybius and Livy 
of the political relations which developed themselves 
during these years between Rome and the various 
states of Greece. While elsewhere there were large 
kingdoms and single persons to be considered, here 
there were a great number of varying polities — 
Leagues, free cities, some tyrants, all in strained 
relations, and all appealing perpetually for Roman 
decisions, and protesting against those decisions when 
they were given. It is not our duty here to give 
more than a general sketch of these constant and 
wearying quarrels, which ended, of course, in the paci- 
fication of Greece by a bloody armed intervention ; 
but the method of Roman absorption is so explicitly 
shown, and so well recorded in the case of Greece, 
that it will reward the reader to follow a short sum- 
mary of it. 

It is clear that the Roman policy was shifty and 
uncertain because opposite views were held by strong 
parties in the state. The older school, such as Cato, 
understood nothing but military conquest and occu- 
pation ; they were therefore cautious about advancing 
far from Italy, but if they did so it was for the per- 
manent enlargement of the state. On the other hand, 
there was a school of younger statesmen, like Flami- 
ninus,who were ready to interfere diplomatically every- 
where, but without any intention of conquest, who 


thought to control a great empire by playing off a 
number of allied or subject powers one against the 
other. This was the view which at first became 
popular in the case of Greece, especially on account 
of the sentimental favour with which the free Greek 
cities were regarded at Rome. Up to the war with 
Antiochus, these smaller states were eminently useful 
in isolating the three kingdoms, Macedonia, Syria, 
and Egypt. This importance, however, and the 
generous language used as regards the liberty of the 
Greeks, were understood by them in a far different 
sense from what was, or could have been, intended at 
Rome. Flamininus might indeed think that gratitude 
would prevent this liberated people from taking side 
against the Romans ; but if they did, their liberties 
must be forthwith cancelled. It was found presently 
that even before such an event happened it might be 
necessary to interfere, for it was single free cities or 
small states, all impotent and insignificant, which the 
Romans intended to have in the East, not Leagues 
which took the liberty of enlarging themselves and 
growing into important powers. Such Leagues, even 
if wholly unable to oppose Rome, were inconvenient 
from the weight which they had with their neighbours, 
and the independent way in which they could remon- 
strate and protest. 

The first conflict of the kind arose, as we have 
observed, with the yEtolians, who were the earliest to 
see the real character of the Roman interference, and 
who were urgent in calling in Antiochus to aid them. 
They also incited Nabis of Sparta to attack the 
Achaeans, the friends of Rome, and recover the terri- 


tory adjudged to them by Flamininus. Consequently 
a new war had broken out (B.C. 192) between Sparta 
and the Achaeans under Philopoemen, now returned 
from Crete, and appointed General of the League. 
Nabis had been worsted, but when the Romans were 
informed of it, they would not allow the Achaeans to 
finish their victory, and compelled a peace. This 
again was Flamininus's doing. It was even alleged by 
the Greeks that he was jealous of the military suc- 
cesses of Philopoemen ; but this is on a par with the 
constant allegations of the /Etolians that he was 
bribed during his previous settlement of affairs after 
his victory. These latter, however, though they mur- 
dered Nabis in their attempt to seize Sparta, together 
with Chalcis and Demetrias, by their vigorous action 
induced Antiochus to come over into Greece. 

The result has already been narrated. After the 
battle of Magnesia the yEtolians still held out obsti- 
nately, and were at last conquered and crushed for 
ever ; but the very year that marks their downfall 
marks the greatest geographical extension of the rival 
League. All Peloponnesus had now joined, or been 
forced to join the Achaeans, and they aspired to unite 
all Greece. This it was which the Romans would not 
tolerate any more than the resurrection of Philip's 
power. They forced the Achaeans to give up Zakyn- 
thos (Zante), an island which had been taken and 
joined to the League, and warned them not to go to 
war without consulting Rome. They no doubt treated 
with distinction certain rich men, and made agents of 
them, while we find patriotic statesmen becoming 
more and more democratic, and leading a party which 


gradually conceived suspicion, then aversion, then 
hatred towards Rome. 

Moreover, the blunders of the League gave Rome 
constant ground for interference. The pretended 
union of all Peloponnesus under the League was a 
mere sham. Even when Nabis was gone, the town 
of Sparta again revolted, and expelled the Achaean 
party. Then Philopcemen led them back, demanded 
the leaders of the revolt, who were all massacred, 
some with, some without the form of a trial, and pro- 
ceeded to the most sweeping and high-handed execu- 
tions and confiscations, making, in fact, a clean sweep 
of everything distinctively Spartan, even so far as the 
formal abolishing of the Lycurgean laws. Of course 
the defeated party ran to Rome. The Romans 
ordered a commission to inquire into the case ; they 
received separate missions from the Spartans ; what 
was worse, they gave a half-hearted decision, ordering 
peace and the return and pardon of exiles, and taking 
from the Achaeans the power of condemning the 
Spartans in their congress, though they left Sparta a 
member of the League. This capture of Sparta hap- 
pened in 188 B.C. and these negotiations were pro- 
tracted four years. 

Then came a similar difficulty with Messene. 
Philopoemen hurried to put down this revolt, and 
advancing too precipitately, was captured and killed 
(B.C. 184). There resulted wars with Messene and 
with Sparta, which took its opportunity of revenge ; 
the Romans declined to interfere ; and it was only 
with the greatest energy and caution that Lycortas 
(Polybius's father), the new leader of the League, 


managed to produce a kind of peace, or rather pause 
in these miserable quarrels, in 181 B.C. Thus we have 
the condition of things matured, which led to the last 
Macedonian war, and then to the subjugation of 



— PYDNA (B.C. l68). 

PERSEUS succeeded his father in 179 B.C., and soon 
showed that he did not possess the private vices 
which ruined Philip's influence. He was, like him, a 
thoroughly trained soldier, but strict in his morals, 
and courteous in his manners. He had of course 
inherited a deep hatred for the Romans, and had also 
been trained for many years in the only policy which 
could lead him to any reasonable success. It was his 
clear determination to foster the Hellenistic feeling 
against the Romans, to enter into friendly relations 
with all Greek states, and so to prepare for himself 
a general alliance when he struck his blow; for two 
things were certain. He would be watched and 
accused at Rome by the king of Pergamum, as soon 
as there was a suspicion of war preparations. He 
would not be joined by the Greeks till some decided 
success had excited them, for the fear of Rome was 
great, and the cautious would always keep a fair face 
to the Western barbarians till they saw a chance of 
throwing off their hated sway. For these reasons, 
Perseus prepared as quietly as possible, and five years 


passed before he made any public demonstration of 
his power. 

Meanwhile, things had been gradually growing 
worse in Greece and Asia Minor. The Romans had 
everywhere created or excited a philo-Roman party 
in the states, which acted in their interests, and be- 
lieved, or professed to believe, that there was no peace 
or security for property without close and actual 
dependence upon Rome. On the other hand, there 
was a large nationalist party everywhere, violently 
opposed to the unionists, branding them as traitors, 
and constantly asserting the right of every Greek 
state to legislate for itself. The halting and uncertain 
tone of the Roman Senate fed the hopes and the 
animosities of both parties. On the one hand, the 
Senate had often admitted, and publicly admitted, the 
principle that each Greek state ought to have liberty 
and home-rule. On the other hand, every practical 
politician whom they sent to the East as Deputy or 
Commissioner, found that active interference with 
this liberty was necessary, if the life and property of 
the richer classes were to be safe, and if the Romans 
were not prepared for a proximate declaration of in- 
dependence on the part of the Greeks. Let us add 
that the Roman temper and tone of mind — proud, 
narrow, ill-educated, nay, even stupid as compared 
with the quick-witted Greeks, was profoundly unsym- 
pathetic, and that therefore Rome came to be 
disliked on account of the haughty and imperious 
manners of even worthy and respectable men. 
Above all, they constantly interfered in what we may 
call state property, in an unjust or inexpedient way. 


They first sanctioned the Achaean League, and 
granted territory on the mainland to the Rhodians. 
Then, when members of the League, or the cities of 
the Rhodian Percea, as it is called, complained of 
harsh treatment, and appealed to Rome for liberty, 
they were protected against their masters, who were 
not allowed to enforce the acknowledged law or 
existing contracts against them. 

There are curious analogies to all this in the actual 
state of Ireland (1886) ; and as here the opposed 
parties are so hostile and embittered that neither will 
acknowledge any virtue or honesty in the other, so we 
find that by the patriot party in Greece, every Ro- 
manizer is set down as a traitor and a villain. During 
the pause in actual war which we have now reached, 
Callicrates was the head of the Roman party in 
Achaea. He is accused by Polybius of going to 
Rome (B.C. 180) as one of the three commissioners, 
and there making a secret arrangement with the 
Senate, by convincing them that no peace or 
obedience could be secured in Greece without every- 
where protecting the aristocrats, and demanding their 
restoration to their properties, whenever they had 
been exiled. At the same time Polybius pretends 
that the Achaeans, or his brother-envoys at Rome, 
had no inkling of all this, for he was elected President 
in 179 B.C. 

It is plain that here, too, a land-question was at 
the root of things. The decay of Greece had in- 
creased pauperism ; the power of Rome had already 
stopped the lucrative mercenary wars between the 
sovereigns of the Hellenistic world, and the poor — 


we saw it as early as Agis and Cleomenes — turned 
their attention to despoiling their richer neighbours. 
In democratic constitutions the only possibility of 
safety for the rich minority was the support of Rome, 
a foreign power bound to the world to permit no 
violent disorders among its subject states. 

This sketch of the state of feeling among the 
Greeks shows what good cards were in Perseus's 
hands, had he known how to play them. Every- 
where the popular party found that the control of 
Macedonia would be infinitely preferable to that of 
Rome. Even the Rhodians foresaw that in the end 
Rome would ruin their trade. 

In 174 B.C. Perseus made his first demonstrrtion ; 
punishing the Dolopians for the murder of a Mace- 
donian official, and making a solemn display of his 
army at Delphi. Of course Eumenes ran to Rome 
with complaints and warnings, and each side began 
to foresee the coming struggle ; but when Perseus 
sought allies among the Greeks, though he found the 
poorer classes everywhere in his favour, and in many 
places bloody insurrections against the better classes 
showed how they understood his interference, the 
Roman party were able to get his proposal for a 
formal alliance with Achaea rejected. On the Asiatic 
coast, where Eumenes was feared and hated, both 
the great towns on the Hellespont and the Rhodians 
were disposed to take his side ; but all were very 
much afraid to declare themselves. 

Envoys from Rome went to Macedonia in 172 B.C., 
to complain that the king had not observed the terms 
of the treaty with Philip. He answered as if he 

Q. MARCIUS. 289 

were prepared for war, and rejected all liability for 
his father's acts. So the war opened in the end of 
the year, by the arrival of troops from Italy at Apol- 
lonia. Then it appeared that Perseus, who had spent 
years in preparation for this struggle, had not the de- 
cision to act. Instead of at once mobilizing his army, 
invading Greece, and getting his numerous partizansin 
every state to join him, he sat quiet while Roman en- 
voys went all through Greece and the .^Egean to intimi- 
date the Hellenistic world, and demand support and 
sympathy. The king even allowed himself to be 
deluded by his Roman guest friend, Quintus Marcius, 
into sending a deputation to Rome, to discuss terms 
of peace when war was already determined. This Q. 
Marcius plays an ugly part in the history of the time ; 
his diplomacy consisted in nothing but shameful 
falsehoods, and excited indignation among the older 
nobles at Rome. 

Both the diplomacy and the strategy shown in 
this war show a curious and rapid degeneration in 
Roman character. Though the Romans had secured 
at least material support from all the Greeks, and 
had an ample army and fleet, the first campaign was 
so incompetently managed by the consul P. Licinius 
Crassus, that Perseus gained one considerable victory, 
and with any energy on his part could have destroyed 
the Roman army. Along with this incompetence, 
the Romans also developed great cruelty and bar- 
barity, even in the treatment of friendly states. 
These causes naturally excited the sentiments and 
fed the hopes of the national, now the Macedonian, 
party in every state, and so the war assumed a very 



serious appearance. The consul and admiral of the 
next year (B.C. 170) succeeded no better, and were 
guilty of similar acts of monstrous oppression and 
cruelty. All this time Perseus hesitated in his 
strategy, and still worse in opening his treasure and 
paying the northern barbarians, who were his only 
efficient allies. The next consul, our lying friend 
Q. Marcius, was more active, and actually took his 
army over the shoulder of Mt. Olympus down des- 
perate precipices into Macedonia ; but when there 
his communications were interrupted, and his advance 
stopped by Perseus, who occupied a strong position, 
and for want of commissariat he could do nothing. 

It was not till the famous L. y£mil. Paullus, the 
brother-in-law of the great Scipio, and father of the 
Scipio who destroyed Carthage, was appointed, that 
the war was brought to a close by first manoeuvring 
Perseus out of his strong position, and then defeating 
him at Pydna. 1 (June 168 B.C.) In this battle the 
phalanx again attacked and defeated the Roman 
infantry, and Paullus confessed that he had trembled 
for his army ; but Perseus, commanding his cavalry, 
according to Alexander's fashion, would not chatge 
when the legions were in confusion, and the rapid 
advance of the victorious phalanx threw it out of 
order. Then the Romans rallied and destroyed it. 
These facts show the profound knowledge possessed 
by Alexander of the possible uses of the phalanx, 
which he never used for attack. Had an officer 
like Philopoemen commanded the Macedonian cavalry 
at Pydna, and charged when the legions were in dis- 

1 See "The Story of Rome," p. 163. 


order, the Macedonians must have won ; but now 
the king fled to Samothrace, where he was taken 
prisoner by the Roman admiral. 

Even JEm. Paullus, though he was able to recover 
the discipline of the Roman troops in action, and 
make them an efficient army in the field, was unable 
to stem the tide of rapacity and injustice which 
seemed to have invaded the conquering people in 
a generation. He indeed, a Roman of antique virtue, 
had also a respect for the art and culture of Greece, 
and would gladly have shown sympathy for his 
vanquished enemy ; but the decree of the commission 
upon Macedonia, to which he was obliged to agree, 
was perhaps the most cruel ever made by Rome. 
The kingdom was first stripped of all its better 
classes (including every official), who were all trans- 
ported to Italy- to live, we suppose, in seclusion and 
wretchedness, if not in positive captivity, in country 
towns, among -their conquerors. The king himself, 
after being exhibited in the triumphal procession of 
Paullus, disappears in hopeless misery, we know not 
whether to be put to death, or to suffer death in life, in 
captivity in some Etrurian town. His son afterwards 
earned a poor living as an auctioneer's clerk ; nor 
was this last scion of great royal houses treated with 
any respect by the Roman aristocracy. Macedonia 
was cut into four divisions, and so isolated that no 
inhabitants of one were allowed to acquire property 
or marry in the next. Of course Roman traders — 
and here the policy of protecting them by tyranny 
and oppression first appears — who could cross these 
frontiers, soon got all the remaining wealth into their 


hands ; and so great was the wretchedness of the land, 
that bloody raids and insurrections compelled the 
Romans twenty-one years after to reduce it to a direct 
Roman province. It was all very well to demand 
only half the tax paid to the former kings. The 
mines were closed, the export of timber prohibited — 
in fact, everything was done, and done but too suc- 
cessfully, to reduce this noble and free people to 
starvation and ruin. 

Also, by special order of the Senate, the wretched 
Epirotes, who had shown active sympathies with 
Perseus, were invaded by Paullus, their cities sacked, 
most of them massacred, and 150,000 people sold as 

Even their trusty agent and friend Eumenes was 
charged with being half-hearted — we know not how 
truly — insulted by being deprived of Thracian 
cities, and shown clearly that now, when he was no 
longer of use to the Romans as a policeman, or a spy, 
they had no regard whatever for his past services. 
They set the king of Bithynia and the Galatae to 
encroach upon him, so that it was only with the 
greatest forbearance and diplomacy that the kingdom 
was kept alive, and bequeathed to his faithful brother 
Attalus II., who had been often set on by the Senate, 
but in vain, to dispossess his brother. As is well 
known, the next king, Attalus III., thirty years later 
(B.C. 133) bequeathed his kingdom directly to the 
Roman people as their property. There were not 
wanting people to assert that the will was forged, 
and from the general character of Roman diplomacy, 
such a charge is far from incredible. 


The treatment of Rhodes was not less scandalous, 
and affords another example of the brutal way in 
which the Romans determined to monopolize the 
trade of the world. They had just discovered what 
riches could be acquired by foreign mercantile specu- 
lations, and they determined to keep this source of 
wealth to themselves by ruining every other trading 
power. The Rhodians, however, gave the Romans 
a sentimental grievance by offering to mediate be- 
tween them and Perseus. They had come to the 
camp of Q. Marcius to promote peace, as they had 
done in every Hellenistic war for a century, seeing that 
their trade interests were strictly the interests of peace. 
The lying consul, for the purpose of getting them into 
a scrape, insinuated that they had better go to Rome, 
where they would be well received. This embassy 
was of course regarded at Rome as the grossest im- 
pertinence. The news of Pydna which arrived at the 
time made it even ridiculous. Thus the war party, 
and the mercantile party, who urged them on with- 
out appearing on the scene, caught at the opportunity 
of ruining these ancient and respectable allies. They 
were very near being destroyed like Macedonia. It 
was thought a great concession that they were only 
deprived of all the territory on the mainland, granted 
them by Rome after the battle of Magnesia, and 
ruined in commerce by the declaration of Delos 
to be a free port. It is evident that one of the 
regulations of the Rhodian League was to require 
fixed harbour-dues in every port, by which vessels 
were naturally brought to the largest and best mart 
in the League. The income of Rhodes from this 
source fell at once from ^40,000 a year to ^6,000. 


Thus the Romans, having crushed their enemies in 
the East, proceeded to crush their allies. They knew 
full well that Rome had done only too much to earn 
Hellenistic hatred, and that while these smaller states 
kept carefully within allthe bounds of the treaties, public 
opinion was more and more setting against themselves. 
The most signal instance of this was the famous case of 
Achaea. The League had honourably supported them 
in the war with Perseus, and had carried out all the 
wishes of the Romans, nevertheless their friends and 
agents could tell them that the national feeling was 
intensely bitter against them. Q. Marcius tried all 
his lying to get them into trouble ; but the honorable 
conduct of their leaders made it difficult. At last the 
Romans held a formal inquisition into private opinion 
(B.C. 167), and when the honest Xenon declared that 
the national party were ready to stand any fair trial, 
even in a Roman court, he was taken at his word, and 
a thousand leading men were deported to Italy, where 
they were kept without trial for seventeen years, in 
spite of constant embassies and remonstrances, till at 
last the surviving three hundred came home (B.C. 150), 
savage and furious enemies of Rome, and lost to all 
feelings but revenge. Thus came on the desperate 
outbreak of 146 B.C., the invasion of Mummius, the 
capture and sack of Corinth. This and the sack of 
Carthage in the same year completed the policy of 
the mercantile party. Rome had now no commercial 
rival on the Mediterranean. 

If Achaea was ruined and driven to desperation by 
this foul injustice, the world has gained by it the in- 
valuable history of Polybius. He was one of the thou- 


saftd captives ; he had lived a life of great activity 
and of official prominence in the League, of which 
his father, Lycortas, had been frequently president. 
He had carried, as a youth, the ashes of Philopcemen 
to the tomb. He had been on embassies to Egypt 
and Pergamum. After Pydna, he had hunted with 
Paullus's sons in the rich preserves of Perseus, forgot- 
ten during the war and full of game. He had studied 
not only politics, but military affairs. Now he was car- 
ried to Italy, and by the influence of Paullus settled in 
his mansion at Rome, and in the society of the noblest 
and best citizens. They it was who informed him 
about the doings of the great Scipio in the second 
Punic War, about the management of war and peace 
by the Romans, and who prompted him to write the 
great history of the world from the outbreak of the 
second Punic War (B.C. 221) to the fall of Corinth 
(B.C. 146). This book gives us the key to the history 
of Hellenism. It is written, of course, in the Roman 
interest ; it doubtless exaggerates the merits of 
Scipio to suit the tastes of his descendants, to whom 
Polybius read these chapters. It is also a special 
pleading for the Achaean League, and for the 
national party in that League; but nevertheless it is 
a great and wise book f and teaches us even in its 
fragments more history than all the other Greek 
historians put together. 


PILIUS L^INAS (l68 B.C.). 

The obscure Seleucus (IV.) Philopator, king of Syria, 
had died in 175 B.C., and was succeeded by a man 
who made some stir in the world, his elder brother, 
Antiochus Epiphanes, who reigned B.C. 175-166. We 
have two pictures of this king, who had lived several 


years a hostage at Rome. Born in 221 B.C., at the 
opening of his father's reign, he had seen the rise and 
fall of the kingdom under Antiochus the Great, and 
was thirty-one years old when the terms of the peace 
in 191 B.C. sent him to Rome. Thus he was forty-five 
years old when he succeeded, of an age and experience 
from which we might have expected a steady reign ; 
but Polybius, who has described the extraordinary 



















feasts and pageants he gave, apparently in imitation 
both of Alexandrian and Roman processions, gives 
us plainly to understand that along with high and 
brilliant qualities there was a vein of madness in the 
king. He rode up and down his state processions as 
his own master of the ceremonies, a thing unheard 
of in those stately courts, and sat down at table with 
the lower classes at his great feasts. In Josephus 
and in the book of Maccabees, he is painted as a 
brutal tyrant, profaning the temple of the Jews, and 
causing wanton and ruthless bloodshed. Both pic- 
tures are doubtless true, and are interesting, as they 
give us some knowledge of the last real king of Syria, 
as Perseus was the last real king of Macedonia. 

He maintained the policy of his house by taking ad- 
vantage of the war in Macedonia, and the occupation 
of all the Western world, to attack Egypt. His sister 
Cleopatra (Queen of Egypt) was just dead, and her 
infant son Ptolemy (VI.) Philometor had succeeded. 
Ccele-Syria,or its revenues,had been Cleopatra's dowry, 
and now Antiochus refused to pay, and reclaimed it. 
He was more successful than any Syrian king had 
yet been. Winning a great battle on the borders of 
Egypt, he actually penetrated the country, reached 
Memphis, and had the boy-king completely in his 
hands ; but the Egyptians deposed and expelled 
their king, who had come to terms too easily, and set 
up his brother, Euergetes II., known as Physcon, in 
his stead. Antiochus returned to restore Philometor, 
and besieged the new king in Alexandria, when his 
brother took the occasion cf Antiochus's brief absence 
to join the Egyptian party, and both made war on 



Antiochus. Meanwhile they sent urgent messages to 
Rome, praying for interference and succour. The 
Roman ambassadors, the same who had been sent to 
Rhodes just after the battle of Pydna, met the king 
within four miles of Alexandria, apparently about 
to become permanent master of Egypt, and they 
handed him the Senate's missive forbidding his war. 
He asked time to consider, when Popilius Laenas 
drew his famous circle round him in the sand with 
his stick, and told him to decide before he stepped 
out of it. This was a very different kind of embassy 
from that of the Rhodians, who had come on the same 
errand a short time before, to whom he answered that 

tee £&■ 


he was only restoring the Egyptian people their law- 
ful king. He knew the Romans well ; no doubt he 
knew Popilius personally, and he saw that his day 
was come. He gave up his war, and returned through 
Jerusalem to his capital. 

Here, then, was the climax of Roman interference. 
The threat of an envoy was sufficient to close the 
last Syrian war, and stay the conqueror when on the 
eve of completing his conquest. Thus the Empire of 
Alexander passed under Roman sway. We have, 
indeed, lists of Syrian and Egyptian kings, reaching 
down to the time when Pompey and Caesar respec- 


tively made the final settlement of these kingdoms 
(B.C. 49 to 47), and abolished the existing sovereigns ; 
but this long list is merely a succession of names. 
They have neither influence upon the world, nor 
power in their own country. They either keep 
beyond the limits of Roman politics, or submit 
tamely to what the Senate orders. Whatever 
spirit still subsists in the nations was no longer a 
Hellenistic spirit, but that of the original nations. 
The bitter revolts and war against Julius Caesar at 
Alexandria were essentially Egyptian revolts. The 
wars of the eastern provinces of Syria againt Rome 
were essentially Parthian. With the year of Pydna 
(168 B.C.) the whole matter was decided. The strug- 
gles of the Achaean patriots and the sack of Corinth 
were only small items in this settlement. The Empire 
of Alexander, founded by a single genius, broken up 
by ambitious generals, held together in spirit and in 
culture by unity of language, of interests, of com- 
merce, sank into dependence upon Rome, and ceases 
to have any other than a spiritual history. 

It only remains for us now to sketch briefly the 
present effect of this Hellenism upon Rome, and to 
show that even when the empire and its component 
kingdoms were gone, the ideas of Alexander long 
continued to dominate the civilized world. 



When the Romans suddenly found themselves a 
great and conquering- power, when circumstances, as it 
were, thrust upon them sovran authority, they were 
as inferior to the East in culture as they were superior 
in force of arms, and they knew it. For a long time 
back, as far as the Decemvirs, who drew up codes 
.of law, and the censors, established to look after the 
population and its taxing, they had been in the habit 
of sending occasional embassies to learn from the 
Greeks — generally, indeed, from the Athenians ; but 
their closer intercourse with Greeks only dates from 
the time when they had conquered the Samnites, and 
came in direct contact with the Greek cities of Italy, 
with the result that Pyrrhus came over from Epirus, 
and they made trial of Greek arms as well as Greek 
courtesy. The legends told about this war show the 
anxiety of the Romans to appear equal in manners 
to the polite Hellenistic princes. Thus, then, there 
grew up a desire to enter into the circle of these 
civilized nations, retarded, it is true, by the Punic 
wars, but still always increasing as the world became 
one by commerce and language. It is possible that 
the Rhodians had communicated with Rome before 


300 B.C. It is certain that the second Ptolemy sent 
them an embassy before the first Punic War (B.C. 273). 
Thus they became recognized by the Hellenistic 
world, and they learned to know the Greeks, but not 
the Greeks of the old days ; not the Greeks, like 
Pericles, and Epaminondas and Demosthenes, but 
their degenerate descendants who have occupied us 
so much in the great struggles of surrounding king- 

At this time the Romans were just struggling into 
a Literature of their own ; what it would have been 
we know not. For whatever points of weakness the 
Greeks — the nearest and best known to them of the 
Hellenistic world — possessed, their books were vastly 
superior to anything attempted at Rome. Thus it 
was inevitable that the Romans should imitate what 
they found, and that their literature must be moulded 
upon Greek models. I shall not lay stress on the old 
translation of the Odyssey into the rude Latin verse 
by Andronicus, who flourished as early as 240 B.C., 
but rather urge that he was the first to exhibit plays, 
tragedies, and comedies, and so introduce that kind 
of Greek amusement in Rome. Though, of course, 
there were but few who could follow Greek, even the 
Senate adopted the language about that time in 
sending replies to the Eastern powers. We have 
also noticed above their ludicrous attempt to pose 
as members of the Hellenistic world through their 
descent from the Trojans. 

Presently come the times when Roman influence 
extended itself to the eastern side of the Adriatic, 
and Romans began to go as soldiers and diplomatists 


to Greek cities. We still feel, in our scanty evidence, 
the strong contrast observed among all men, between 
the calm, self-possessed, unlearned Romans, and the 
over-acute, mercurial, unstable, brilliant Greeks. It 
was a time, nevertheless, when the greater nation was 
deeply impressed with, and anxious to emulate, the 
less. To learn Greek must have become an important 
part of a Roman noble's education, especially if he 
meant to pursue diplomacy ; but far beyond that, all 
felt obliged to pick up some of the current Greek 
ideas, in order to show that they too had attained 
Hellenistic culture. It is very curious and signifi- 
cant that Ennius, the Roman poet who introduced 
Greek hexameters into Latin, and gave the whole 
succeeding literature its Greek tone — translated for 
his people the most fashionable piece of Greek 
scepticism, the "Sacred History" of Euemerus "of 
Messene, written at the court of Casander of Mace- 
donia. The book was not new in Greece, and was 
noted for a blasphemy of scepticism even exceeding 
the license of these freethinking days. Euemerus 
held that except the nature gods, such as the sun and 
moon, all these personages weie but deified mortals, 
who had lived long ago, and were dead — nay, their 
very tombs could still be found. It is hard to picture 
what would be the feelings of a quiet country Greek 
at hearing such a doctrine about Zeus, and Apollo, 
and Demeter, all of whom were entwined with his 
holiest associations. Possibly Euemerus meant to 
justify the deification of the Hellenistic sovrans, such 
as the Ptolemies and Seleucids, a practice which did 
not invade Italy till the days of Augustus. Such, 


however, was the Greek book chosen by Ennius to 
introduce to Roman society, and many who were 
learning Greek must have studied it. 

In a previous chapter I pointed out how the 
same kind of thing took place as regards the stage. 
The plays translated and arranged by Plautus, and 
afterwards by Terence for the stage at Rome, were of 
a kind deeply antagonistic to the sound and healthy 
morals of the simple Romans of the third century B.C. 
The misfortunes of young girls, the profligate life not 
only of fashionable young men, but even of old men 
and married men, the prominence of parasites, and 
panders, and prostitutes — all- this condoned and pic- 
tured as the life of refined and gentlemanly Athenians, 
as the highest outcome of good breeding — what could 
it produce at Rome except a very great moral earth- 
quake, a feast upon the fruits of the tree of the 
knowledge of good and evil, a breakdown of all the 
old traditional education, and an epidemic of crude 
and disgusting scepticism ? 

People of high intellect and culture can resist such 
influences. The sceptics whom we find nowadays 
among the upper and thoughtful classes are not coarse 
and brutal. They do not violate decency and traditional 
morals, nor do they offend the sentiments of their 
believing neighbours ; but the vulgar, the uneducated, 
or the half-educated who run into scepticism are very 
different indeed. If they adopt agnosticism or egotism 
as their creed, they parade it to the offence or the 
damage of their neighbour, and even vindicate with 
cynical frankness what those around them regard as 
gross crime. 


One cannot but feel this kind of difference between 
the Romans and the Hellenistic states in the second 
century B.C. 

In diplomacy, for example, there was as muchplaying 
with the truth among Syrian and Egyptian statesmen 
as there is now among Russians in their management 
of foreign affairs, or among Englishmen in party 
politics; but if we except the pirate ^Etolian admirals 
of Philip V., who set up shrines to Impiety and Per- 
jury, and who were regarded as outlaws and assassins 
by all the civilized states, we meet no such systematic 
and barefaced lying as was practised by Q. Marcius 
in his transactions with Philip, the Achaeans, and the 
Rhodians. So also the manner in which the Senate 
first pampered and rewarded a power, like that of 
Eumenes, and enriched it at the expense of its neigh- 
bours, then jealously pulled it down the very instant 
their purpose had been attained, shows not only a 
total absence of justice, but a want of shame in 
parading this policy which astonishes us. Even worse, 
their usual method of accomplishing this end was to 
set up the son or brother of their ally as a pretender, 
and let him see that they encouraged his treachery, 
thus sowing the seed of crime in families, and violating 
the purest and best feelings of our nature. It is 
natural for the weak to have recourse to treachery and 
falsehood, but when the strong do so, it is from de- 
liberate immorality, and from a feeling that it is more 
astute or more convenient to win by fraud than to 
employ force. 

It seems, then, that sudden contact with this luxu- 
rious, rich, often depraved but highly cultivated East, 


had at first the most serious effects upon the Roman 
world. It encouraged not only lies, but brutality and 
cruelty, for we find that they behaved in their cam- 
paigns as hardly any Hellenistic power had, and we 
know that they were ready to massacre the inhabitants 
of any city for the mere benefit of their trade. 

All these things rapidly bore their natural fruit. 
When diplomatists work only by lies, and generals go 
out to fight for booty, the better qualities soon die 
out, and selfishness soon breeds incapacity. The 
conduct of the war against Perseus shows the most 
extraordinary decadence in Roman warfare. Generals 
and troops were equally bent on plundering their 
helpless friends, and avoiding an encounter with their 
enemies. We have a lively picture (in Plutarch's Life) 
of the difficulties which the austere and the honourable 
Paullus yEmilius found, in making a serviceable army 
out of his materials ; and we are told that if Perseus 
with his cavalry had supported the phalanx, before 
which the legions quailed, even Paullus would have 
been defeated. 

So, then, the first spiritual result of Alexander's 
Empire on Rome was decidedly a failure. It was the 
shallower and somewhat debased Greek culture which 
we call Hellenism, which, in its superficial aspects, 
attracted and conquered the Romans. The old 
conservative people, like Cato, kept aloof from it. 
Some few really superior men, such as those whom 
Mommsen calls the Scipionic circle, felt their way 
through the mists of error and decay around it, and 
found the great truths which lay within ; but the 
majority of fashionable young Romans took their 



notions from the plays, and their experiences at the 
court of Alexandria or at Athens, where all the 
sycophants and panders showed them vices by way of 

Polybius gives us some curious details of how this 
Graecomania affected the Romans. He tells us of a 
certain Aulus Postumius, a young noble who affected 
Hellenism to such an extent as to disgust all his 
friends at Rome, nay even so as to disgust them 
with this kind of culture generally. At last he pro- 
duced a Greek poem, and a history, in the preface of 
which he asked for pardon if, Greek not being his 
native tongue, he were guilty of solecisms. On this 
Cato remarked, that had he been ordered to write in 
Greek by some literary body, such excuses might find 
their place ; but that now he was like a man putting 
down his name for an athletic contest, and then asking 
pardon of the spectators when he showed neither 
strength nor endurance. The rest of his life was, says 
Polybius, on a par. He copied the bad points in the 
Greeks, their love of pleasure and their idleness. He 
feigned sickness during a campaign in Greece, but 
was the first to write to the Senate about the battles, 
and describe his share in them. 

Polybius further gives an account of the games 
produced by the praetor L. Anicius, who, in concert 
with Paullus, had subdued the Illyrians and Genthius 
their king, brought captive to Rome with Peseus. 
He sent for all the best artists from Greece and 
setting up a great stage in the Circus, brought in 
all the flute-players. They were ordered all to blow 
together, and their chorus to dance. When they 


began their stately and orderly performance, it was 
voted slow by the audience, and the praetor sent them 
word he wanted something more lively in the way of a 
contest. Probably he thought the Greek word for a 
contest meant strictly a fight. When the artists were 
puzzled at this, one of the lictors explained what was 
meant, by turning them round at one another and 
gesticulating to show a fight. Then they saw their 
duty, and forming their chorus into two parts all 
blew at random, and advanced against one another, 
and retired. But when one of the chorus squared 
up in a boxing attitude at one of the great flute 
players, there burst out shouts of applause. Then 
solo dancers and boxers together with trumpet blowers 
ascended the stage, and there ensued a free fight, to 
the enthusiasm of the Romans. Polybius adds that 
what he has to say about the tragedies and their 
performance will seem ribald talk. Unfortunately his 
remarks are not preserved. Such was the culture of 
the Roman public after nearly half a century of con- 
tact with Hellenism. 

The reaction upon the East was not less unfortunate. 
As the Roman snob wanted to pose as an Athenian, so 
the princes of the East, especially those who had been 
hostages or envoys at Rome, learned all the faults and 
insolences of the Roman character ; and if they could 
not pose as Romans, at least professed to admire 
everything that was done in Rome, and to flatter and 
corrupt the Italians who came in contact with them. 
The pictures drawn by Polybius of the Philo-Roman 
party are those of a very hostile witness, and perhaps 
not more trustworthy than the characters now given 


by Irish politicians to their opponents ; yet we cannot 
but admit some truth in Polybius's case. He exagge- 
rates their guilt when he omits giving the one strong 
motive of these anti-national politicians. They had 
property, and they felt that if a home democracy pre- 
vailed they would be despoiled. This was a strong 
and natural motive, and palliates their want of 
patriotism ; it is hard for men to admit that a 
policy of plunder is to be endured, even when it 
assumes a more respectable name. Still, when the 
anti-national party triumphed, they got small profit 
by their victory. Roman selfishness and greed very 
soon made terrible inroads upon the prosperity of the 
Hellenistic world. We know from the increasing 
depopulation of Greece, how wretchedly that country 
and Macedonia must have fared. The great marts 
of the Greek world, Corinth and Rhodes, were ruined, 
and the main industries of Macedonia forbidden by 
law. Still worse, the Rhodian control of the seas 
fell away with their decadence, and Cilicia and Crete 
began to swarm with those pirates who justified 
their cruelties as fair reprisals upon Roman in- 
justice, and increasing their power as the careless- 
ness or home policy of Rome prevented interfer- 
ence, became at last a disgrace which was used by 
party men to overthrow the constitution of the Re- 

While all these public mischiefs were developed 
there was secretly and almost silently a great gain to 
the civilized world being secured. The purest and 
best of the Romans were in real earnest learning from 
the best of the Greeks that knowledge of philosophy, 


of history, of poetry, of the plastic arts, which was 
ultimately spread over the world in Roman form. 
While Plautus and Terence were rendering Greek 
comedy into Latin, and tragedy was similarly handled, 
men like Polybius lived in great Roman houses, and 
by long and intimate intercourse produced that effect 
which the brilliant lectures of philosophers on stray 
visits could not attain. 

Polybius speaks as if he were the only one of the 
Achaean exiles who had this good fortune, but we may 
be full sure that many others of the Scipios' friends 
chose educated men among the thousand captives 
who were kept so many years in Italy, and thus the 
fashion came in of having a learned Greek in the 
household, like a domestic chaplain. Presently the 
Romans imported from Alexandria grammar and 
criticism ; then the Alexandrian poetry, and a school 
of Latin elegiac and lyric poets arose, based upon the 
fashionable Hellenistic poets, Philetas, Callimachus, 
and their fellows. It was to these, and not to the 
older and purer models, that the first Latin poets 

Then came the transference of the other art. In 
architecture especially (in which the Romans were 
great practical men), they added the Greek architrave 
in its newest or Corinthian form to the Roman arch, 
and in this mongrel style built vast temples over the 
world — Roman, indeed, in vastness and real meaning, 
but Hellenistic in beauty and expression. When the 
splendours of Palmyra and Baalbec rose in the old 
homes of the Seleucid Macedonians, they represent 
the spirit of the Empire of Alexander which had never 


died ; which, after centuries of foreign life in the heart 
of Rome, came back to adorn the distant regions, where 
it had made its earliest and perhaps its greatest 



In order to save the reader from confusion in reading a history where 
the same names are so constantly repeated, a catalogue is appended of 
the principal namesakes, with such details as will enable any intelligent 
person to distinguish them easily. 

Agathocles, eldest son of Lysimachus (married to Lysandra), an able 

general, and heir to the throne of Thrace ; murdered by Ptolemy 

Keraunos and Arsinoe. 
of Syracuse, famous adventurer and tyrant of Syracuse, 

who^e daughter Lanassa first married Pyrrhus and then king 

Agis III., king of Sparta during Alexander's campaigns; defeated and 

slain by Antipater. 
IV., king of Sparta about 244 B.C., social and political reformer ; 

put to death by the ephors. 
Alexander the Great, strictly Alexander III. of Macedon. 

IV., his son by Roxane, murdered by Casander while yet 

a boy. 

the Molossian, brother of Olympias, and hence brother-in- 
law to Alexander the Great, who made campaigns in South Italy, 
and was there killed. 

son of Pyrrhus, his successor on the throne of Epirus, 

and last king. 

son of Casander, put to death by king Demetrius. 

satrap of Persia who revolted under Antiochus III. 1 

Antigonus, called Monophthalmos, the one-eyed, satrap of Phrygia 
under Alexander, then the foremost among the Diadochi, father 
of king Demetrius ; killed at Ipsus (B.C. 301). 

Gonatas, his grandson, king of Macedonia for thirty-four 


Doson, nephew to Gonatas, son of Demetrius the Fair, king 

of Macedonia. 

1 There are fourteen other Alexanders known in the history of the period. 


Antiochus I., called Soter, son of Seleucus I. Soter, king of Syria and 

the Eastern provinces. 

II., called Theos, his son and successor. 

Hierax, younger son of Antiochus II., ruling Asia Minor and 

warring against his brother, Seleucus II. 

III., the Great, younger son of Seleucus II., king of Syria 

for thirty-five years ; defeated at Magnesia (b.c. 190). 

IV., Epiphanes, eldest son of Antiochus III., King of Syria, 

was master of Egypt till stopped by the Romans. 1 
Arsinoe, daughter of Ptolemy Soter and Berenice, married to king 

Lysimachus ; then betrothed to Ptolemy Keraunos, who murdered 

her children ; then finally married to her brother Philadelphus. 
daughter of Lysimachus by Nikaea, first wife of Ptolemy 

Philadelphus, but divorced, when he married his sister, the other 

Arsinoe just named. 2 
Attalus, a Macedonian prince, uncle to Philip of Macedon's second 

wife Cleopatra, and general of Philip. 

brother of Philetserus, the first dynast of Pergamum. 

I., king of Pergamum, son of the last. 

II., king of Pergamum, son of the last ; succeeded his elder 

brother Eumenes. 

III., king of Pergamum, son of Eumenes II., the last king 

of Pergamum. 

Berenice (Bernice), daughter of Lagus, married to Ptolemy I., her half- 
brother, and mother of Ptolemy II. and his wife Arsinoe. 

daughter of Magas, betrothed to Demetrius the Fair, then 

married to Ptolemy III. 

daughter of Ptolemy II., and married to Antiochus II. ; 

murdered by his first wife. 3 
Demetrius I., king of Macedonia, son of Antigonus, and known as 

Poliorcetes, the Besieger. 
of Phalerum, philosopher, and viceroy of Athens under 

Casander B.C. 317-307, till expelled by the former Demetrius, when 

he went to Egypt to Ptolemy I. 

the Fair, younger son of Demetrius I. , sent to Cyrene by his 

brother Antigonus Gonatas. 
II., king of Macedonia, son of Antigonus Gonatas, killed in 

battle B.C. 229. 
of Pharos, an Illyrian prince defeated by the Romans ; 

adviser to Philip V. 4 

1 See under " Seleucus '' the alternation of the two names in the Seleucid dynasty. 

2 Arsinoe was, moreover, the name of at least fifteen towns founded by the Ptolemies. 

3 We know of ten cities called by this name. 

* Eight other Demetrii are known in the period. 


Eumenes of Cardia, private secretary, afterwards general to Alexander 

the Great, supported his family against Antigonus, and after great 

wars was taken and put to death in Gabiene. 

I., brother of Philetaerus of Pergamum, afterwards dynast there. 

■ II., cousin to the former, son of Attalus I., king of Pergamum. 

Philip of Macedon, Alexander the Great's father, known as Philip II. 
Arridaeus, half-brother of Alexander the Great, known as 

Philip III. (Alexander's successor). 
IV., son of Casander, titular king of Macedon just before 

Demetrius I. 

V., the antagonist of the Romans, father of Perseus ; son of 

Demetrius the Fair. 1 
Ptolemies occur in regular succession as kings of Egypt, denoted by 

numbers and distinct epithets, viz.: I., Soter ; II., Philadelphia ; 

III., Euergetes ; IV., Philopator; V., Epiphanes ; VI., Philo- 

metor ; VII., Euergetes II. 
Ptolemy Keraunos was the eldest son of Ptolemy I., Soter, exiled ; for 

a year king of Macedon. 2 
Seleucus I. (Nicator), general of Alexander, then king of the Eastern 

provinces, father of Antiochus I., grandfather of Antiochus II. 
II. (Callinicus), son of Antiochus II., fourth king of Syria 

and Eastern provinces. 

III. (Soter), son of the last, also king of Syria. 

IV. (Philopator), younger son of Antiochus III. , king of Syria ; 

succeeded by his elder brother, Antiochus IV. (Epiphanes). 3 

1 Seventeen other Philips occur in the history of the time. 

2 Fifteen other Ptolemies occur besides these kings. 

3 The cities Seleucia on the Orontes and Seleucia on the Tigris should also be 
carefully distinguished. There were eleven other cities, of less note, called by the 


Abydos, siege of, 253 

Academy, the, founded by Plato, 97 ; 

importance of its teachers, 107 ; 

furnishes model for Alexandrian 

Library, 143 

Academy, the New, embraces the 

conclusions of Scepticism, 103 
Acarnanians apply to Rome, 184 
j^chsean League, 62 ; its opposition 
to Antigonus Gonatas, 118; its 
spread, 168-169; its character, 
178; its officers, 179 < defeated by 
Cleomenes, 208; remains neutral 
in war between Philip and Rome, 
254 ; joins Rome, 255 ; treatments 
of by Rome, 277 ; attains its 
greatest magnitude, 282 ; supports 
Rome against Perseus, 294 ; lead- 
ing members of, transported to 
Rome, id. 
Achreus, expedition of, against 
Attalus, 213 ; revolts against 
Antiochus III., 227 ; besieged in 
Sardis, 229 ; his death, 230 
Acoka embraces Buddhism, 140 
" Acontius a> d Cydippe," 152 
Adule, inscription of, 160 
/F.gion meeting-place of League, 179 
^Etolian League, oppositior of, to 
Antigonus Gonatas, 118 ;it; spnad, 
162; its character, 181 ; its effects 
on Greece, 182 ; its attitude in 
Cleomenic War, 207 ; enmity of 
against Macedonia, 238 ; makes 
treaty with Rome, 241 ; joins 

Rome against Philip, 254 ; supports 
Antiochus, 262 ; its opposition to 
Rome, 281 ; crushed, 282 

/Etolians offer to mediate in Siege of 
Rhodes, 62 ; importance of 79, 91 

Agathocles, minister of Ptolemy 
Epiphanes, 248 

Agis, schemes of, 172 ; death of, 173 ; 
dealings of, with Aratus, 174 

Alexander the Great, begins new 
epoch, 2 ; parentage and youth of, 
4-7 ; accused of being implicated 
in his father's assassination, 8 ; 
present at Chseronea, 9 ; his im- 
provements on Philip's military 
system, 10 ; Illyrian campaign, id. ; 
destroys Thebes, 11 ; starts for 
Asia, 15 ; defeats Persians at 
Granicus, id. ; at Issus, 20 ; his 
military tactics, 23 ; takes Tyre, 
iii. ; wins battle of Arbela, 24 ; 
marries daughter of Darius, 28 ; 
and Roxana, 33 ; marches into 
India, 36 ; wounded by the Malli, 
37 ; his mode of life, 40 ; his death, 
41 ; his children, 43 ; influence of 
his example in producing monar- 
chical form of government, 56 ; 
contrast between him and the 
philosophers, 99 ; modifies Greek 
idea of monarchy, id. ; the one 
lasting results of his conquests, 277 

Alexander's Empire passes finally 
under Roman sway, 298 ; injurious 
effects of on Rome, 305 

"Alexandra " of Lycophron, 151 



Alexandria (Egypt) founded, 24 ; 
description of, 120-122 ; scholar- 
ship of 222 ; Library of. (See 

American Federation compared to 
Achaean, 182 

Anacleteria explained, 268 

Ancyra, monument of, 83 

Andronicus translates Odyssey, and 
writes plays, &c, 301 

Antigoneia founded, 212 

Antigonus Monophthalmos, general 
under Alexander, 8 ; Satrap of 
Phrygia, 46 ; assists Eumenes in 
Paphlagonia 1 , id. ; conquers Eu- 
menes, 50 ; drives Seleucus from 
Babylon, id. ; murders Cleopatra, 
54 ; wars with Ptolemy, 58 ; 
coalition against, 65 ; his defeat 
and death, 67 

Antigonus Gonatas, claimant for 
throne of Macedonia 73, 75 '■> 
defeats Celts, 80 ; wars with 
Pyrrhus, 87 ; parentage and youth 
of, 115; reign of, 1 17 ; his efforts 
to counteract /Etolian and vEchaean 
Leagues, 118 ; joins ./Etolian 
League, 169 

Antigonus Doson, history of, 200 ; 
campaign of against Egypt, 201 ; 
called by Aratus to aid Achaean 
League, 209; becomes master of 
it, 211 ; takes Manlinea, 212 ; 
defeats Cleomenes, 215 ; death of 

Antioch, description of, 136 

Antiochus I. Soter defeats Celts, 80 ; 
difficulties of his reign, 136 ; his 
literary patronage, id. ; his war 
with Eumenes and death, 137 

Antiochus II., Theos, origin of sur- 
name of, 137 ; his successes and 
death, 138 

Antiochus Ilierax, 158; obtains Asia 
Minor, 187 ; attacks Galatians, id. ; 
defeated by Attalus, 188 

Antiochus III., the Great, accession 
of, 213 ; campaigns of, id. ; his 
successes against Molon, 227 ; his 
campaign against Egypt, 228 ; 
captures Achaeus, 230 ; attacks 

Parthians, id. ; hailed as "the 
Great," 231 ; makes treaty with 
Philip, 247 ; campaign against 
Egypt, id. ; defeats Scopas, 252 ; 
attacks Macedonian possessions, 
261 ; takes Eubcea, 262 ; defeated 
at Thermopylae, 263 ; and at 
Magnesia, 264 ; death, 265 

Antiochus IV., Epiphanes, accession 
of, 296 ; his character, 297 ; his 
Egyptian campaigns, id. ; restrained 
by Rome, 298 

Antipater, General under Alexander, 
8 ; his arbitrary conduct complained 
of by Olympias, 40 ; receives 
government of Macedonia, 45 ; 
disinherits Casander, id. ; wages 
Lamian War, 48 ; procures death 
of Demosthenes and Hypereides, 
49 ; his settlement of Greece, id. ; 
becomes guardian of Royal House, 
51 ; death of, 51 ; leaves Poly- 
sperchon regent, id. 

Apollodorus, subject of tragedy by 
Lycophron, 84 ; subdued by Anti- 
gonus Gonatas, 116 

Apollonius Rhodius, Librarian at 
Alexandria, 144 ; his poems, 151 

Arabia circumnavigated, 160 

Aratus, makes peace with Antigonus 
Gonatas, 119; early life of, 164; 
frees Argos, 167; takes Corinth, 
16S ; dealings of, with Agis, 174 ; 
his policy, 180, 203 ; his death, 240 

Aratus the Astronomer, 136; poem 
of, 151 

Arbela, battle of, 24 

" Arcadia " of Sannazaro, 146 

Architecture of Rome indebted to 
Greece, 309 

Areus, Spartan commanderinChremo- 
midean War, 117 

Argos, battle at, 87 ; freed by Aratus, 

Aristarchus of Samos, 144, 222 

Aristomenes, Minister in Egypt, 267 

Aristophanes, of Byzantium, 144 

Aristotle, teacher of Alexander, 9 ; 
theoretical nature of his philosophy, 

Armenia, kingdom of, 90 



Arridaeus, see Phi'ip Arridaeus 
Arsacids seize Atropatene, 219, 257 
Arsinoe, married to Lysimachus, 71 ; 
to Ptolemy Keraunos, 74 ; to 
Ptolemy Philadelphia, id. ; her 
complaisance, 132 
Athens, governed by Demetrius of 
Phaleron, 51 ; hails Demetrius 
Poliorcetes king, 56 ; heads Greek 
coalition in Chremonidean War, 


Atropatene, kingdom of, 90; its revolt, 
139 ; seized by Arsacids, 219 

Attalids, princes in Pergamum suc- 
ceed to Asiatic part of Lysimachus' 
dominion, 46 

Attalus I. defeats Galatae, 83, 18S ; 
and Hierax, 188 ; joins Rome 
against Philip, 236 ; defeats Philip, 

Attalus II. succeeds Eumenes, 292 

Attalus III. bequeaths his kingdom 
to Rome, 292 

Attica, devastated by Philip, 253 

Autonomy, communal, 57 ; instinct 
of a Greek mind, 176 


Babylon, History of, translated by 

Berosus, 137 
Bactria, conquered by Alexandria, 35; 

kingdom of, 90; its revolt, 139; 

cut off from Hellenism, 257 
Berenice, married to Ptolemy Euer- 

getes, 119 
Berosus, the Chaldaean, 137 
Bessus murders Darius, 28 ; executed 

by Alexander, id. 
Buddhism, spread of, 140 
Byzantium attempts to levy customs, 


Callicrates makes secret arrangement 

with Rome, 287 
Callimachus, librarian at Alexandria, 

144 ; poems of, 151 ; his " Acon- 

tius and Cydippe," 152 
Candahar, etymology of name, 92 
Canopus, decree of, 268 

Cappadocia, kingdom of, 90 

Carthage, interference of, in struggle 
between West and East, 88 ; Hel- 
lenism in, 220 

Casander, disinherited by Antipater, 
45 ; opposes Polysperchon, 51 ; 
re-introduces order into Athens, id. • 
secured in possession of Macedonia, 
52 ; murders Roxana and her son 
Alexander, 53 ; his policy, 58 ; his 
death, 70 

" Cassandra," see " Alexandra " 

Cato, Tribune at battle of Ther- 
mopylae, 263 ; his policy, 280 

Catullus, poem of, 160 

Celts, invasion of, 16 ; cross into 
Asia Minor, 80 ; settle in Galatia, 
80 ; defeated by Romans, 83, 265 ; 
effects of their invasion on Hellenism, 
84 ; attacked by Hierax, 187 ; 
defeated by Attalus, 188 

Champollion discovered alphabet of 
hieroglyphics, 271 

Chandragupta, alliance of, with Seleu- 
cus, 65 

Chremonidean War, 117 

Cilician Pirates, 308 

Cleanthes, teacher of Stoicism, 105 

Cleomenes, successes of, 202 ; his 
reforms at Sparta, 205 ; defeats 
Achaeans, 208 ; his campaigns 
against Achaean League, 209 ; be- 
sieges Corinth, 210 ; takes Megalo- 
polis, 212 ; defeated by Antigonus, 
215 ; flies to Egypt, id- ; death of, 

Cleopatra, sister of Alexander, 43 ; 
her intended marriage, 46 ; mur- 
dered, 54 

Colossus of Rhodes, 190 

Coma Berenices, poem of Catullus, 

Comedy, the New, life depicted in, 
109, 110; influence of, on Roman 
. morality, 303 

Corinth, battle at, 117 ; taken by 
Aratus, 1 78 ; besieged by Cleomenes. 
210; decadence of, 308 

Coion, battle at, 73 

Cos, battle at, 118 

Cosmas Indicopleustes, 160 



Crannon, battle of, 49 

Crassus, Licinius, Roman general 

against Perseus defeated, 289 
Craterus, death of, 46, 50 
Crates, 189 

Criticism, origin of, 145 
Cynoscephalae. battle of, 255 
Cyrene, expedition of Demetrius the 

Fair to, 119 


" Daphnis and Chloe" of Longus, 151 
Darius present at Issus, 20 ; his flight 
from Arbela, 27 ; his murder, 28 ; 
his character, id. 
Delos declared a free port, 293 
Demetrius Poliorcetes, hailed as king 
by Athenians, 56 ; his successes 
against Casander, 59 ; besieges 
Rhodes, 60; his victories in Greece, 
65 ; recalled by Antigonus, 66 ; 
present at Ipsus, 67 ; his adven- 
tures and final capture by Seleucus, 
Demetrius Phalereus rules Athens, 
51 ; originates Alexandrian Library, 

Demetrius the Fair, brother of Anti- 
gonus Gonatas, 117; his death, 

Demetrius II., history of, 162 ; wars 
with /Etolia, 185 ; death of, 186 

Demetrius of Pharos expelled by 
Rome, 237 ; adviser of Philip V., 

Demetrius, son of Philip V., death of, 

Demosthenes, opinion of, concerning 

Alexander, 10 ; banished from 

Athens, 40 ; death of, 49 
Diadochi, division of empire among, 

49 ; assume titles of kings, 56 
Dolopians punished by Perseus, 288 

Egypt, conquered by Alexander, 24 ; 
ruled by Ptolemy son of Lagus, 45 ; 
attacked by Perdiccas, 47 ; its 
natural security against invasion, 
48 ; its traffic, 89 ; its supremacy in 

tie East, 158; attacked by Antio- 
chus III., 247 ; national opposition 
of, to rule of Ptolemies, 272 ; its 
gains and losses in territory, 275 ; 
attacked by Antiochus IV., 297 ; 
finally settled, 299 ; early inter- 
course of, with Rome, 301 

Elegy, origin of, 146 

Ennius translates Euemerus, 302 

Epicureanism, rise of, 101 ; its teach- 
ing, 103, 104 ; its cosmopolitanism, 
105 ; its points of dissimilarity to 
Stoicism, 105, 106 ; teaches Quiet- 
ism, 106 

Epicurus, teaching of, 103 

Epigoni, 76 

Epiphanes, see Ptoltmy 

Epirus, rise of kingdom of, 92 ; 
abolishes royalty, 170 ; treatment 
of by Rome, 292 

Eratosthenes, works of, 144 ; his dis- 
coveries, 164 

Esne, temple of, 160 

Eucleidas present at Sellasia, 215 

Euemerus of Messene, 223, 302 

Euergetes, 194 ; and see Ptolemy 

Eumenes of Cardia assisted in Paph- 
lagonia by Antigonus, 46 ; supports 
Perdiccas, 47 ; declared public 
enemy by Macedonians, 50 ; his 
wars with Antigonus, id. ; his 
death, id. 

Eumenes I., repels Antiochus Soter, 

Eumenes II., friendly to Rome, 263 ; 

his increase of dominion, 275 ; 

loses favour of Rome, 292 
Eurydike, wife of Philip Arridoeus, 

murdered, 52 
Euthydemus, sovereign of Bactria, 


Federations among Greek cities, 57 ; 
their increase in wealth and reputa- 
tion, 62 ; necessity for, 177 

Flamininus, Roman general against 
Philip, 255 ; defeats him, 256 ; 
Policy of, in Greece, id. ; and 280 ; 
character of, 259 ; forbearance of, 



Freeman, Professor, on Federation, 
176, 182. 


Galatae, see Celts 

Gaugamela, battle of, 24 

Glabrio, Roman commander against 

Antiochus, 262 
Granicus, battle of, 15 
Greek Literature, see Literature 
Greek language used by Rome in 

correspondence with foreign powers, 

Greek, translations into, made by 

order of Antiochus Soter, 137 
Greeks, freedom of, declared, 260 


Halicarnassus taken by Alexander, 19 
Harpalus, flight of, from Babylon to 

Athens, 40 
Hecatombaeon, battle of, 208 
Hellenedom, politics and intellect of, 

fused with Eastern manners, 34 
Hellenism, general epoch of, 55 ; 
effects of Celtic invasion on, 84 ; 
golden age of, 11 1 ; two special 
epochs of, 113; last independent 
act of, 114; wide-embracing cha- 
racter of, 137 ; extended to the 
boundaries of the Tartars, 139 ; 
unity of language in, 154, 220; 
commerce of, 198, 221 ; power 
of falls to secondary states, 219 ; 
boundaries of, 220 ; literature and 
scholarship of 221, 222 ; religious 
feeling of, 223 ; science of, 224 ; 
losses of, 257 ; efforts of Rome to 
get a place in, 300; unfavourable 
influences of, on Rome, 305 ; reac- 
tion of Rome on, 307 ; arts of, 
spread over the world in Roman 
form, 309 
Hellenistic cities, objects of the foun- 
dation of, 92 ; composition of their 
population, 94 ; their uniform con- 
struction, 95 
Herakles illegitimate son of Alexan- 
der, 43 ; his elevation and death, 

Hermeias of Caria, 213 
Homer, text of, emended, 144 
Horace, models of, 153 
Hyperbatos, Commander of Achaean 

League, 208 
Hypereides, death of, 49 

Idyll, the pastoral, origin of, 146 

Indicopleustes, 160 

Ipsus, battle of, 67 

Illyria cowed by Rome, 237 

Issus, battle of, 20 

Jews alienated from Ptolemies' side 
with Antiochus, 252 


Keraunos, see Ptolemy Keraunos 

Lsevinus sent to synod of /Etolians, 

Lamian War, 48 
Land Question at Sparta, 172 
Laodike, wife of Antiochus Theos, 138 
Leonidas, King ot Sparta, 173 
Leonnatus, death of, 46, 49 
Leosthenes, Greek commander in 

Lamian War, 48 ; killed, 49 
Lepidus, Roman Ambassador to 

Eg\pt, 252 ; and to Philip, 253 
Library and Museum of Alexandria, 

foundation and character of, 143, 

Literature, character of, at Alexandria, 

145; at Pergamum, 189 
Literature, poorness of, in Hellenistic 

centres, 221 ; effect of on Roman 

Poetry, 309 
Literature of Greece, influence of on 

Roman Literature, 301 
Longus, "Daphnis and Chloe" of, 

I 5 1 

Luc etius, exponent of Epicureanism, 

Lycia, League of, 183 
Lycophron, tragedy of Apollodorus 

by, 84 ; his " Cassandra," 151 



Lycortas, General of Achaean League, 

Lysimacheia, founded, 58 ; battle at, 

Lysimachus, satrap in Thrace, z6; 

his expedition against Antigonus, 

66 ; his power, 69, 70 ; slain, 73 


Macedonia, description of, 89 ; Ro- 
man decree against, 291 ; division 
of, id. ; trade of, paralysed, 292 

Macedonian Army, change in habits 
of, 34 ; discontent of, 36 ; mutiny 
and submission of, 38 

Macedonian governors, corruption of, 


" Macedonians," Household Troops 

of Alexander, 251, 257 
Machanidas, tyrant of Sparta, 238 ; 

death of, 241 
Magnesia, battle of, 264 
Malli, taken by Alexander, 37 
Manetho, translates History of Egypt, 


Mantinea, taken by Antigonus, 212; 

battle at, 241 
Marcius, Quintus, diplomacy of, 289; 

enters Macedonia, 290 
Margos of Keryneia, 178 
Marine Law established, 58, 193 
Megalopolis joins Achaean League, 

171; proposes embassy to Antigonus, 

207 ; taken by Cleomenes, 212 
Melenger declares Philip Arridaeus 

king, 44 
Memnon, commands for Darius, 16 ; 

his death, 19 
Mentor, General of Darius, 16 
Messene, Wars of, with Achaeans, 

Molon, revolt of, 213; his death, 

Monarchy becomes accepted form of 

Government, 55 ; its nature, id. ; 

recommtnded L>y Greek philoso- 
phers, 56 
Museum, origin of the title, 143 ; of 

Alexandria, see Library 
Myonnesus, battle at, 263 


Nabis, tyrant of Sparta, 244 ; attacks 

Achseans, 281 ; his death, 282 
Neoptolemus, death of, 50 


Olympias married to Philip of Mace- 
don, 7 ; accused of being implicated 
in the assassination of her husband, 
8 ; complains of Antipater, 40 ; 
murders Arridasus, 52 ; her death, 

Panion, battle of, 252 

Paphlagonia obtained by Eumenes, 

Parmenio, General under Alexander, 

Parthia, foundation of monarchy of, 
219; attacked by Antiochus. 230 

Pater, Mr. Walter, exponent of Epi- 
curism, 104 

Paullus yEmilius defeats Perseus at 
Pydna, 290 

Persea, 198, 287 

Perdiccas appointed regent, 44 ; at- 
tacks Egypt, 47 ; killed, 48 

Pergamum, kingdom of, founded, 91 ; 
neutrality of, 1 14; becomes leader 
of Hellenism, 159 ; its school of 
sculpture, 188; and of literature, 
189 ; its strength and its weakness, 

Peripatetic school of philosophy, 107 
Persreus, Stoic philosopher, 100 
Perseus, son of Philip V., 279; his 
preparations against Rome, 285 ; 
punishes Dolopians, 288 ; begins 
war with Rome. 289 ; defeats 
Licinius Crassus, id. : defeated at 
Pydna, 290 ; his death, 291 
Persian Empire, character and topo- 
graphy of, 31, 33 
Phila, sister of Casander and wife of 

Demetrius Poliorcetes, 68 
Philadelphus, meaning of, 132 
Philetrcrus, first of Attalids, 91 



Philip II. of Macedon compared to 
Peter the Great, 4 ; to Victor 
Emanuel, 7 ; his marriages, id. ; 
his assassination, id. 

Philip Arridaeus, son of Philip II., 43 ; 
proclaimed king, 44 ; murdered by 
order of Olympias, 52 

Philip V., accession of, 237; wishes 
to join Punic War, 238 ; campaign 
of, against ^Etolian League, id. ; 
makes treaty with Hannibal, 239, 
240 ; inaction of, 240 ; tyranny of, 
id. ; makes peace with Rome, 242 ; 
evil policy of, 244; makes treaty 
with Antiochus III., 247; defeated 
at Samos, 248 ; devastates Attica, 
253 ; military ability of, 254 ; de- 
feated at Cynoscephalae, 256 ; his 
part in war between Rome and 
Antiochus III., 277 ; treatment of, 
by Rome, id. ; his domestic trou- 
bles and death, 279 ; his character, 

Philopcemen opposes Clcomenes, 212; 
general of Achaean League, 241 ; 
leaves Greece, 254 ; returns, 282 ; 
his death, 283 

Philosophy, rise and spread of, 96, 
97 ; theoretical nature of, at the 
first, id. ; obtains public importance, 
100; takes a practical tone, 100- 
l°3 5 general effect of, on the age, 

Plato, theoretical nature of philosophy 
of, 96, 97 ; claims pre-eminence for 
monarchy, 98 

Pleiad, the, 152 

Plutarch's Lives, 59, 67, 85, 163, 173, 
2 '5' 3°5 > influence of, on the 
\r«"rki, 223 

Polybius on Greek trade, 234; life 
of, 295 ; history of, id. ; gives us 
examples of Grsecomania at Rome, 

Polysperchon appointed Regent, 51 ; 
proclaims the liberty of the Greeks, 

Pontus, kingdom of, 90 

Popilius Lcenas checks Antiochus IV., 

Torus, death of, 65 

Postumius Aulus, Grxcomania of, 

Prusias of Bithynia aids Rhodes 
against Byzantium, 236 

Ptolemies, wars of, with the Seleu- 
cids, 113 

Ptolemy I. Soter takes government 
of Egypt, 45 ; attacked by Per- 
diccas, 47 ; wars of, with Antigonus, 
58; his descendants, 71 ; his death, 

Ptolemy II. Philadelphus marries 
daughter of Lysimachus, 72 ; wars 
of, with Antigonus Gonatas, 1 17; 
urges Greeks to claim their liberty 
id. ; his policy, 120 ; his researches, 

131 ; marries his sister Arsinoe, 

132 ; his amours, id. 

Ptolemy III. Euergetes, marriage of, 
119; wars of, with Syria, 157; 
circumnavigates Arabia, 160; be- 
comes head of Achaean League, 
169 ; death, 215 

Ptolemy IV. Philopator attacked by 
Antiochus III , 228 ; his character 
and death, 232, 233 

Ptolemy V. Epiphanes, accession of, 
248 ; ceremony at his coronation, 
268 ; his death, 278 

Ptolemy VI. Philometor, deposed, 

Ptolemy VII. Euergetes II. called 
Physcon, placed on the throne, 297 

Punjab conquered by Alexander, 36 

Pydna, battle of, 290 

Pyrrho, Teacher of Scepticism, 103 

Pyrrhus, King of Epirus, 68 ; checked 
by Lysimachus, 70 ; bribed to in- 
vade Italy, 73 ; his youth and mar- 
riage, 85 ; campaigns of, in Italy, 
Sicily, and Greece, 86, 87 ; his death 
and character, 87 


Raphia, battle of, 229 

Representative Government, idea of 
foreign to Greek mind, 177 

Rhakctis, 121 

Rhodes, organizes a federation, 57 ; 
besieged by Demetrius, 60 ; neutral 
policy of, 1 14 ; becomes a leader 




of Hellenism, 159 ; history of, 
190 ; wars of, with Euergetes, 194 ; 
earthquake at, 197 ; interference of, 
with Byzantium, 235 ; defeats Philip, 
248 ; opposition of, to Eumenes, 
275 ; commerce of, destroyed by 
Rome, .293 ; intercourse of, with 
Rome in early times, 300; deca- 
dence of, 308 

Romance, rise of, 146 ; new veins of, 

Rome, attack on, meditated by Alex- 
ander, 38 ; probable effects on, of 
such a war, 39 ; friendship of, 
courted by Ptolemy Philadelphus, 
120; applied to by Acarnanians, 
184 ; endeavours to gain a place in 
Hellenism, 185; war of, with 
Teuta, 186 ; successes of, against 
the Greeks, 200 ; interference of, 
in Greece delayed, 218 ; conquers 
Illyria, 237 ; makes treaty with 
^Etolians, 241 ; forces Philip to 
makepeace, 242 ; arbiter of Eastern 
affairs, 248 ; becomes guardian of 
Ptolemy Epiphanes, 252 ; com- 
mences war with Philip V., 254 ; 
is victorious, 256 ; withdraws troops 
from Greek fortresses, 260 ; com- 
mences war with Antiochus III., 
262 ; operations of, in Asia Minor, 

. 265; becomes powerful overall the 
Empire of Alexander, 276 ; Greek 
states severely treated by, 277 > 
different policies of, 280 ; incon- 
sistency of dealings of, with Greek 
states, 286 ; declares war against 
Perseus, 289 ; treatment of Mace- 
donia by, 291 ; of Epirus, 292 ; of 
Eumenes, id. ; of Rhodes, 293 ; of 
Achrean League, 294 ; interferes 
with Antiochus IV., 298; inter- 
course of, with Greece in early 
times, 300 ; intercourse of, with 
Hellenistic world, 301 ; public im- 
morality of, as compared with 
Greece, 304 ; injurious results of 
Alexander's Empire on, 305 ; 
Grsecomania at, 306 ; inability of, 
to appreciate Greek art, 307 ; in- 
fluence of, on manners of the East, 

307, 308 ; transfers to itself Hel- 
lenistic arts, 309 

Rosetta Stone, discovery of, 268 ; in- 
scription on, 271 

Roxana, wife of Alexander, 33 ; mur- 
dered, 52 

" Sacred History " of Euemerus, 302 

Samos, battle at, 248 

Sandracottus, see Chandragupta 

Sannazaro, "Arcadia" of, 146 

Sardis, taken by Alexander, 19; be- 
sieged by Antiochus III., 229 

Scepticism, rise of, 103 

Science, advance of, at Alexandria, 
161 ; in Hellenistic world, 224 

Scipio, Lucius, commander at Mag- 
nesia, 264 

Scopas of /Etolia, 248 ; defeated by 
Antiochus III., 252 ; his rapacity, 
267 ; his death, id. 

Sculpture, revival of, 79 > a * Perga- 
mum, 188 

Seleucia captured by Antiochus III., 

Seleucida?, wars of, against Ptolemies, 

Seleucus I. Nicator appointed Chili- 
arch, 46 ; made satrap of Babylon, 
49 ; flees to Egypt from Antigonus, 
50 ; restored to Babylon, 58 ; his 
Eastern campaigns, 65 ; takes part 
in war against Antigonus, 65-67 ; 
captures Demetrius, 67 ; his power, 
69 ; murdered by Keraunos, 73 
Seleucus II. Callinicus, wars of, 
against Ptolemy III., 157 ; his 
death, 198 
Seleucus IH. Soter, death of, 213 
Seleucus IV. Philopator, 278 ; his 

death, 296 
Sellasia, battle of, 215 
Septuagint, the, 137, 153 
Sicyon joins Achaean League, 168 
Society, state of, in Athens, 108, 109 
Sogdiana conquered by Alexander, 

35 ; its revolt, 139 
Sosibius, minister of Ptolemy Philo- 
pator, 229, 232; regent lor Ptolemy 
Epiphanes, 251 



Sparta, poverty and insignificance of, 
92 ; takes part in Chremonidean 
War, 117 ; institutions of, 171 ; 
detached from Achaean League, 
238 ; captured by Philoocemen, 

Sphaerus, Stoic philosopher, 202 

Spitamenes, 33 

Stoicism, rise of, 101 ; its teaching, 
105 ; and cosmopolitanism, id. : in 
many respects dissimilar to Epi- 
cureanism, 105, 106 

Stoics, chiefly foreigners, 106 ; readi- 
ness of, to take part in public 
affairs, id. ; influence of, on tone of 
Athens, 118; opposition of, to 
Antigonus, id. 

Stratonice, 135 

Swiss Confederation, similarity of, to 
^tolian Confederation, 183 

Syria, extent of, 90 ; fall of, 264 ; 
finally settled, 299 

" Syrian Wars," 113 

Teuta humbled by Rome, 186 
Thebes destroyed by Alexander, 1 1 
Theocritus, pastoral idylls of, 146 
Theophiliscus, Rhodian admiral, 248 
Theophrastus, peripatetic philosopher, 

Thermopylae, battle at, 263 

Thermus, capital of ^Etolian League, 

181 ; taken by Philip, 238 
Thrace, ruled by Lysimachus, 46 
Tlepolemus, regent for Epiphancs, 

Triparadeisus, meeting of Diadochi 

at, 49 
Tylis, kingdom of, established, 235 
Tyre taken by Alexander, 23 


Upper Provinces of the East, revolt 
in, 138 


Vergil, indebted to Apollonicus Rho- 

dius, 151 ; to Aratus, 152 
Vulso, Manlius, defeats Celts, 83, 265 


of Persia and 

Xanthippus, satrap 

India, 159 
Xenocrates, of the Academy, 100, 107 
Xenon, member of Achaean League, 



Zeleia, scene of battle of Granicus, 15 
Zeno, founder of Stoicism, 105 
Zenodotus, librarian at Alexandria, 

Zenonians, see Stoics. 

The Story of the Nations. 

MESSRS. G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS take pleasure in 
announcing that they have in course of publication a 
series of historical studies, intended to present in a 
graphic manner the stories of the different nations that 
have attained prominence in history. 

In the story form the current of each national life will 
be distinctly indicated, and its picturesque and noteworthy 
periods and episodes will be presented for the reader in 
their philosophical relation to each other as well as to 
universal history. 

It is the plan of the writers of the different volumes 
to enter into the real life of the peoples, and to bring 
them before the reader as they actually lived, labored, and 
struggled — as they studied and wrote, and as they amused 
themselves. In carrying out this plan, the myths, with 
which the history of all lands begins, will not be over- 
looked, though these will be carefully distinguished from 
the actual history, so far as the labors of the accepted 
historical authorities have resulted in definite conclusions. 

The subjects of the different volumes will be planned 
to cover connecting and, as far as possible, consecutive 
epochs or periods, so that the set when completed will 
present in a comprehensive narrative the chief events in 
the great Story OF THE Nations ; but it will, of course, 
not always prove practicable to issue the several volumes 
in their chronological order. 

The " Stories " are printed in good readable type, and 
in handsome i2mo form. They are adequately illustrated 
and furnished with maps and indexes. They are sold 
separately at a price of $1.50 each. 

The following is a partial list of the subjects thus far 

determined upon : 

THE STORY OF *ANCIENT EGYPT. Prof. George Rawlinson. 
" *CHALDEA. Z. A. Ragozin. 
" *GREECE. Prof. James A. Harrison, 

Washington and Lee University. 
" *ROME. Arthur Gilman. 
" *THE JEWS. Prof. James K. Hosmer, 

Washington University of St. Louis. 
" *CARTHAGE. Prof. Alfred J. Church, 

University College, London. 
" *THE GOTHS. Henry Bradley. 
" *THE NORMANS. Sarah O. Jewett. 
" *PERSIA. S. G. W. Benjamin. 
" *SPAIN. Rev. E. E. and Susan Hale. 
" *GERMANY. S. Baring-Gould. 

HOLLAND. Prof. C. E. Thorold Rogers. 
" *NORWAY. Hjalmar H. Boyesen. 
" *THE MOORS IN SPAIN. Stanley Lane-Poole. 
" *HUNGARY. Prof. A. VAmbery. 
" *MEDIyEVAL FRANCE. Prof. Gust ave Masson. 
" *ALEXANDER'S EMPIRE. Prof. J. P. Mahaffy. 
" *THE HANSE TOWNS. Helen Zimmern. 
" *ASSYRIA. Z. A. Ragozin. 
" *THE SARACENS. Arthur Gilman. 
" *TURKEY. Stanley Lane-Poole. 

PORTUGAL. H. Morse Stephens. 
" MEXICO. Susan Hale. 
" *IRELAND. Hon. Emily Lawless. 

Z. A. Ragozin. 

* (The volumes starred are now ready, September, 1888.) 

New York London 

27 and 29 West Twenty-Third Street 27 King William Street, Straxd 

The first volume, comprising 

the Hebrew Story from the Creation to the Exile, 

is now rendu. Large 12mo, cloth extra, 

red edges, $1.50. 


New York and London. 





Professors E. T. BARTLETT and JOHN P. PETERS, 


(For Description of the Work see Prospectus, Page 17.) 

Some of the Comments Received : 
Extracts front Letters : 



u I congratulate you on the issue of a work which, I 
am sure, will find a wide welcome, and the excellent 
features of which make it of permanent value." 


" The ' Scriptures for Young Readers ' is admirably 
conceived and admirably executed. It is the Bible story 
in Bible words. . . . It is the work of devout and 
scholarly men, and will prove a help to Bible study. I 
have examined it with great satisfaction, and have 
found on almost every page the marks of original investi- 
gation and wise judgment." 


" Its excellence for its purpose has surprised me, and 
I give it my hearty commendation." 


" It more than meets my expectations ; in fact, is so 
attractive that I have set myself to its perusal from end 
to end." 


" The work seems to me adapted to be useful in the 
education of the young in Biblical history and the great 
moral truths embodied in it." 


" I have carefully examined the first volume of the 
i Scriptures for Young Readers,' and am deeply im- 
pressed by the learning and skill shown by the authors. 
They undertook a very difficult work, and have accom- 
plished it in a scholarly manner. If interest in the book 
is an evidence of youth, many will find from reading this 
1 Introduction to the Study of the Bible ' that they are 
not as old as they supposed they were." 

DHf Fi 



Acme Library Card Pocket 

Under Pat. "Ref. Index File." 
Made by LIBEAEY BUEEAU, Boaton 

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